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ftlciV 



mATlOn OF CHRIST 






IRe^ular 

ACTIVE VOICE. i 

From the Present Base. , 

am-6, -as, -at : -amis, -atis, -ant 
mon-eo, -es, -et; -emus, -etis, -ent ' 
reg-6, -is, -it; -imus, -itis, -unt 
aiid-io, -is, -it ; -imus, -itis, -iunt 

-bam, -has, -bat ' 

-bamuB, -batis, -bant 

( -bo, -bis. -bit 
mou-e j I -bimus, -bitis, -bunt 
reg I ( -am. -es, -et 
aud-i j (, -emus, -etis, -ent 



IDerbs. 




PASSI^^ A^OICE. 

From the Presext Base. 
-or, -arls. -atur; -amiir, -amini. -antnr 
-eor, -eris, -etur; -emur, -emini, -entur 
-or. -erls, -itur; -imur, -imiui, -untur 
-ior. -iris, -itur; -imiir, -imini, -iuntur 

-bar, -baris -bare . -batur I = 

-bamur. -bamini, -bautur i - 



. I ;im 



-bor, -beris ; -bere , -bitur 
-bimur, -bimini, -buntiir 
-ar, -eris ^-erei, -etur 
-emur, -emini. -entur 



i- 



!• am-em, -es,-et; -emus, -etis. -ent 
^^^J^-'^ ( -am. -as, -at 
^^^^ - I -amus, -atis, -ant 

am-a , 

inon-e \ -rem, -res, -ret 
rt-g-e 1 -remus, -retis, -rent 
aud-i / 



-er, -eris'-ere). -etur; -emur, -emmi. -entur 
-ar. -aris ^-arei, -atur ( 5? 



-amur, -amini, -antur 



-rer. -reris f-rere\ -retur 
-remur, -remini, -rentur 



) 






am-a, -ate; -ato, -atote, -anto 
moii-e, -ete; -eto, -etote, -ento 
reg-e, -ite; -ito, -itote, -unto 
aad-i, -ite ; -ito, -itote, -iunto 

Pres.Part. Pres.Inf. Gerund. 



^ / am -ans -are 

mon -ens -ere 

reg -ens -ere 

, aud -iens -ire 



-are, -amini ; -ator, -antor 
-ere, -emini; -etor, -entor 
-ere, -imini; -itor, -untor 
-ire, -imini ; -itor, -iuntor 



\'i 



-andum 
-endum 
-endum | 
-iendum ] 



Genmdive. 


Pres. Inf 


-andus 


-an 


-endus 


-eri 


-endus 


-i 


-iendus 


-iri 



(I 



From the Perfect Base. 
; -i, -isti, -it 1 IifD. 



iim-av 



mnn-u 



rpx 



-ere) ] 



imus,-istis,-erunt(-ere) j Perf. 
-eram, -eras, -erat | V\r\i 

-eramus, -eratis, -erant | ^ ' 
-ero, -eris, -erit i Fut.- 

-erimiis, -eritis, -erint j Perf. 

-erim, -ens, -ent 
' -erimus, -eritis, -erint 



fiud-iv I I _isgem, -isses, -isset 



'■~T"SUB.T. ^ ^ i 

t /Perf. m"n-it( 




-issemuSj-issetis, -issent ) ^ * 
-isse Perf.lNF. 

]'rom the RtinxE Base. 
-urus esse Fut. Ink. 

-urus Fut. Paktic. 

-urn, -u Supine. 



From the Supine Base. 
-us sum. es, est ] IM). 
I -i sumus, estis, Piirf. 
sunt ) 

-useram. eras, erat | 
-i eramus, eratis, | Plpf. 
am -at I erant ^ ) 

-us ero. eris, erit \ ^ , 
-i erimiis, eritis, > ,," ;." 
erant ) ^ "•^- 



aud-it 



-us .Sim. SIS, sit \ o„„. 
-i sunuG, 3ftis, U ^ ' 

sint ^ )P'^^-^- 

-lie ess-em -es, -et j 
-i C3s-emus, -etis, [ Plpf. 

-ent ) 

-us I'esse'i I'.^ri'.l'.nifTl'TNi!': 
-um iri i'ut. Ink. 



i,.(i. 





3rrc(jular 


lDccb6. 






SUjUi^ 134). 


rOLO (§211). 


XOLO{\ 211) 


MAL0{^2\\). 


Perfect 


fu-i 


volii-i 


nulii-i 


iniilii-i 


INDIC. 


sum 


v616 


nolo 


malo 




es 


vis 


non vis 


mavis 


I'lCS. 


est 


vult 


non vult 


mavult 


j sumus 


volumus 


noliimus 


malumus 




f estis 


vultis 


'non vultis 


mavultis 




sunt 


volunt 


nolunt 


malunt 


Imporf. 


J eram 


volebam 


nolebam 


malebam 


( eras, cte. 


volebas, (>tc. 


nolebas, etc. 


malebas, etc. 


Fnt. 


( ero 

( eris, etc.* 


volam 


(nolam) 


i^malam) 


voles, etc. 


noles, ctc.| 


(males), etc. 


RUT?.T. 
I'res. 


i sim 


velim 


nolim 


malim 


I sis, etc. 


velis, etc. 


nolis, etc. 


malis, etc. 


Tmpf. 


( essemt 


vellem 


nollem 


mallem 


Impkr. 


( esses, etc. 


velles, etc. 


nolles, etc. 


malles, etc. 


I'res. 


es, este 


jVowe 


noli, nolite 


Xone 


Flit. 


1 estote 
( sunto 


None 


nolito 
nolitote 


None 






nolunto 




Tnf. Pros 


!. esse 


velle 


nolle 


malle 


J.'akt. Prc'6 


). JVone 


volens 


naiens 


None 


FEliO {^ 212). Active. 


Passivk. 


EO (§214). 


FIO{^ 218). 


-JBeufect 


tiil-i 




iv-i 


fact-iis .sum 


Supine 


lat-um 




it-um 


— 


►Indic. 


' fero 


feror 


eo 


fio 




i fers 
,) fert 


ferris 


is 


fis 


Pres. 


fertur 


it 


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1 ferimus 


ferimur 


imus 


— 




[ fertis 


ferimini 


itis 


— 




ferunt 


feruntur 


eunt 


fiunt 


Impcrf. 


( ferebam 
( ferebas, etc. 


ferebar 


ibam 


fiebam 


ferebaris (-are), etc. ibas, etc. 


fiebas, etc. 


Put. 


1 feram 
( feres, etc. 


ferar 


ibo 


fiam 


fereris (-ere), 


etc. ibis, etc. 


fies, etc. 


SUBJ. 
Pres. 


( feram 


ferar 


earn 


fiam 


\ feras, etc. 


feraris (-are). 


etc. eas, etc. 


fias, etc. 


Imperf. 


( ferrem 


ferrer 


irem 


fierem 


iMPElt. 


( ferres, etc. 


ferreris (-ere) 


, etc. ires, etc. 


fieres, etc. 


Pres. 


fer, ferte 


ferre, ferimini i, ite 


fi, fite 




r ferto 
' fertote 


fertor 


its 


1 


Put. 




itote 


• None 




( ferunto 


feruntor 


eunto 


\ 


Inf. Pres. 


ferre 


ferri 


ire 


fieri 


Gerund 


ferendum 




eundum 


— 


Part. Pres. ferens 




iens (gen. 


euntis) 


* Third 1 


jerson phiral : erunt. t Or forem, fores, etc. 


.The plural, like 


the forms of nolo and malo 


enclo.sed in lir;i 


•ket.s ( ), is not in 


common use. 



^c^ Px^. Sofci? - c^C^^-^--^ .-. '^ '- <^ t^>^H^^ 

~ iyicty^ ^^^'M' ^xtcf*^ ; ^u+- f^-t- 'V 
^icoVw(/vixia /t4^"4<? Vvu^iau) '<.4-Ko!t0i< Ov lit?:^^*^*^^ 

c^ <A,coo.A.KnA , W-<Jtl ^^*^^^^ ^rt-AcT' ^ ca4rV^>**g>^ 



PUBLISHER'S NOTE, 

T/ie Latin text of t Ids Edition is that of Hirsche^ whose discovery 
of the rhythmical form of the original has been carefully preserved^ 
though his spacing and punctuation, follotvitig the MS., have not 
been adopted in all points, the present arrangement being more 
suited to general use. 

Hirsche's own later Edition {Berlin, 1891) is recommended for 
those desirous of studying the putictnation of the original. 

The English translation is based on that by Bishop Challoner 
(1744), modified by comparison with every known version in 
English, and many in foreign languages. In some few cases a 
new rendering has been adopted. The English text has already 
been issued in /nany forms by the same publishers. 



DE 
IMITATIONE CHRISTI 



OF THE 
IMITATION OF CHRIST 



NIHIL OBSTAT. 

Thomas A. Pope, Cong. Orat., 
Censor depuiatus. 

UI PRIMA TUR. 

HENRICUS EDUARDUS, 

Card. Archikp. Westmoxast. 



Die 24 Oct.. 1S90. 



DE 



liMITATIONE CHRISTI 



LIBRl QUATUOR 




LONDINI 

KKCAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER ET SOC. 
MDCCCXCII 



OF THE 



IMITATION OF CHRIST 



FOUR BOOKS 




LONDON 
KEGAN PAUL. TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., LT'.! 



MDCCCXCII 



iRLf 



^cJ^oa:?c: 



INDEX 

LIBRORUM ET CAPITULORUM. 

LIB. I. 

Admonitiones ad Spiritualem Vitam utiles. 

CAP. 

I. De imitatione Christi et contemptu omnium vanitatiim 

mundi ... 
11. De humili sentire sui ipsius 

III. De doctrina veritatis 

IV. De providentia in agendis 
V. De lectione sanctarum scripturarum 

VI. De inordinatis affectionibus 

\'II. De vana spe et elatione fugienda 

VIII. De cavenda nimia familiaritate ... 

IX. De obedientia et subjectione 

X. De cavenda superfluitate verborum 

XL De pace acquirenda et zelo proficiendi... 

XII. De utilitate adversitatis ... 

XIII. De tentationibus resistendis 

XIV. De temerario judicio vitando ... 
XV. De operibus ex caritate factis ... 

XVI. De sufferentia defectuum aliorum 

X\'II. De monastica vita 

XVIII. De exemplis sanctorum patrum .. . 

XIX. De exercitiis boni religiosi 

XX. De amore solitudinis et silentii ... 

XXI. De conipunctione cordis... 

-KXII. De consideratione humanae miseriae ... 

XXIII. De meditatione mortis ... 

XXIV. De judicio et poenis peccatorum 
XXV. De ferventi emendatione totius vitac nostrae 



I'AC, 



6 

8 

M 
i6 
iS 
iS 

22 
22 
26 
28 
30 
32 

3^' 
40 

42 
46 
4S 
52 
5S 
64 
68 

74 

82 
88 



I. 

II. 



LIB. II. 

Admonitiones ad Interna Tkahkntes. 
De interna conversaliime 
De humili submissione ... 

( X ) 



TOO 
106 



INDEX 

OF BOOKS AND OF CHAPTERS. 

BOOK I. 

Admonitions useful for the Spi ritual Life. 



CHAP. 

I. Of imitating Christ and despising all the vanities 

the world 

II. Of having a humble opinion of self 

III. Of the doctrine of truth 

IV. Of prudence in our doings 
V. Of reading the holy scriptures ... 

VI. Of inordinate affections ... 

VII. Of flying vain hope and pride ... 

VIII. Of shunning too much familiarity 

IX. Of obedience and subjection 

X. Of avoiding superfluity of words 

XI. Of acquiring peace and of zeal in progress 

XII. Of the advantage of adversity 

XIII. Of resisting temptation ... 

XIV. Of avoiding rash judgment 
XV. Of works done out of charity ... 

XVI. Of bearing the defects of others 

XVII. Of the monasticlife 

XVIII. Of the examples of the holy fathers ... 

XIX. Of the exercises of a good religious ... 

XX. Of the love of solitude and silence 

XXI. Of compunction of heart 

XXII. Oi the consideration of the misery of man 

XXIII. Of the thought of death 

XXI\'. Of judgment and the punishment of sins 

XXV. Of the fervent amendment of our wliole life 



of 



PACIE 

3 
7 
9 
15 
17 
•9 
19 



29 
31 

JJ 
30 

41 

43 
47 
49 
53 
59 
65 
69 

75 
«3 
S9 



BOOK II. 

Admonitions leading to the Interior Life. 

I. Of the interior life 
II. Of humble submission ... ... 

( xi ) 



lOI 

107 



INDEX. 



CAP. 



PAG. 



III. De bono pacifico homine ... io8 

IV. De pura mente et simplici intentionc 112 

V. De propria consideratione ... ... ... ... 114 

VI. De laetitia bonae conscientiae ... ... ... ... 116 

VII. De amore Jesu super omnia ... 120 

\'III. De familiari amicitia Jesu ... ... ... ... 122 

IX. De carentia omnis solatii ... ... ... ... 128 

X. De gratitudine pro gratia Dei ... 134 

XI. De paucitate amatorum crucis Jesu 1 38 

XII. De regia via sanctae crucis ... ... ... ... 142 

LIB. III. 

De Interna Consolatione. 

I. De interna Christi locutione ad animam fidelem ... 156 

II. Quod Veritas intus loquitur sine strepitu verborum ... 158 

III. Quod verba Dei cum humilitate sunt audienda, et quod 

multi ea non ponderant ... ... ... ... 160 

IV. Quod in veritate et humilitate coram Deo conversan- 

dum est ... ... ... ... ... ... 166 

V. De mirabili effectu divini amoris ... ... ... 170 

VI. De probatione veri amatoris ... 176 

VII. De occultanda gratia sub humilitatis custodia ... ... iSo 

VIII. De vili aestimatione sui ipsius in oculis Dei 186 

IX. Quod omnia ad Deum sicut ad finem ultimum sunt 

referenda ... ... ... ... ... ... 188 

X. Quod spreto mundo dulce est servire Deo 190 

XI. Quod desideria cordis examinanda sunt et moderanda 194 

XII. De informatione patientiae et luctamine adversus con- 

cupiscentias ... ... ... ... ... ... 19S 

XIII. De obedientia humilis subditi ad exemplum Jesu 

Christi ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 200 

XIV. De occultis Dei judiciis considerandis : ne e.xtollaniur 

in Ijonis... ... ... ... ... ... ... 204 

XV. Qualitcr standum sit ac dicendum in omni re desidera- 

biH 206 

XVI. Quod verum solatium in solo Deo est quaerendum ... 210 

XVII. Quod omnis sollicitudo in Deo statuenda sit ... ... 212 

XVIII. Quod temporales miseriae exemplo Christi aequani- 

miter sunt ferendae ... ... ... ... ... 216 

(xii) 



INDEX. 

(HA I'. i'A(;i. 

III. Of a good peaceable man ... ... ... ... 109 

IV. Of a pure mind and simple intention ... ... ... 11.5 

V. Of the consideration of self ... ... ... ••. 115 

VI. Of the joy of a good conscience ... ... ... 117 

VII. Of the love of Jesus above all things 121 

VIII. Of familiar friendship with Je.sus ... 123 

IX. Of the want of all solace 120 

X. Of gratitude for the grace of God 135 

XI. Of the fewness of the lovers of the cross of Jesus ... 139 

XII. Of the royal road of the holy cross I43 

BOOK III. 

Of Interior Consolation. 

I. Of the speaking of Christ inwardly to the faithful soul 157 

II. That truth speaks within us without noise of words ... 159 

III. That the words of God are to be heard with humility, 

and that many weigh them not ... 161 

IV. That we ought to walk in truth and humility before 

God 167 

V. Of the wonderful effect of divine love 171 

VI. Of the proof of a true lover 177 

VII. Of concealing grace in the keeping of humility ... iSi 

VIII. Of the lowly esteem of self in the sight of God ... 1S7 
IX. That all things are to be referred to God as to the 

furthest end 189 

X. That it is sweet to serve God despi-sing the world ... 191 
XI. That the desires of the heart are to be examined and 

moderated ... ... ... ... ... ... 195 

XII. Of learning patience and of wrestling against carnal 

desires I99 

XIII. Of the submission of one under obedience after the 

example of Jesus Christ ... ... ... ... 201 

XIV. Of considering the secret judgments of God : lest we 

be puffed up with our own good works ... ... 205 

XV. What position we are to take and what we are to say 

when we desire any thing ... ... ... ... 207 

XVI. That true comfort is to be sought in God alone ... 211 

XVII. That we ought to place all our care upon God ... 213 
XVIII. That temporal miseries are to be borne with patience 

after the example of Christ 217 

( xiii ) 



INDEX. 

CAP. . PAG. 

XIX. De tolerantia injuriarum, et quis veruspatiens probetur 218 

XX. De confessione propriae infirmitatis et hujus vitae 

miseriis... ... ... ... ... ... ••• 222 

XXI. Quod in Deo super omnia bona et dona requiescendum 

est 226 

XXII. De recordatione multiplicium beneficiorum Dei ... 232 

XXIII. De quatuor magnam importantibus pacem ... ... 236 

XXIV. De evitatione curiosae inquisitionis super alterius vita 240 

XXV. In quibus firma pax cordis et verus profectus consistit 242 

XXVI. De eminentia liberae mentis quam supplex oratio 

magis meretur quam lectio ... ... ... ... 246 

XX\'II. Quod privatus amor a summo bono maxime retardat... 248 

XX\'III. Contra linguas obtrectatorum ... ... ... ... 252 

XXIX. Qualiter instante tribulatione Deus invocandus est et 

benedicendus ... ... ... ... ... .•■ 254 

XXX. De divino petendo auxilio et confidentia recuperandae 

gratiae ... ... ... ... ... ■■• ... 256 

XXXI. De neglectu omnis creaturae ut creator possit inveniri 260 

XXXII. De abnegatione sui et abdicatione omnis cupiditatis ... 266 

XXXIII. De instabilitate cordis et de intentione finali ad Deum 

habenda ... ... ... ... ... ... 26S 

XXXIV. Quod amanti sapit Deus super omnia et in omnibus ... 270 

XXX\'. Quod non est securitas a tentatione in hac vita ... 274 

XXXVI. Contra vana hominum judicia 276 

XXXVII. De pura et Integra resignatione sui ad obtinendam 

cordis libertatem ... ... ... ... ... 280 

XXXVIII. De bono regimine in externis et recursu ad Deum in 

periculis ... ... ... ... ... ... 282 

XXXIX. Quod homo non sit importunus in negotiis ... ... 284 

XL. Quod homo nihil boni ex se habet, et de nullo gloriari 

potest 286 

XLI. De contemptu omnis temporalis honoris ... ... 290 

XLII. (^^uod pax non est ponenda in hominibus ... ... 292 

XLIII. Contra vanam et saecularem scientiam 294 

( xiv ) 



CHAl'. PACK 

XIX. Of supporting injuries, and who is proved to be trulj' 

patient 219 

XX. Of the confession of our own infirmity and of the 

miseries of this life ... ... ... ... ... 22;; 

XXI. That we are to rest in God above all goods and gifts... 227 

X.XII. Of the remembrance of the manifold benefits of God 233 

XXIII. Of four things which bring much peace ... ... 237 

XXIV. That we are not to be curious in inquiring into the 

lives of others ... ... ... ... ... ... 241 

XXV. In what things firm peace of heart and true progress 

consist ... ... ... ... ••• ■•• ••• 243 

XXVI. Of the surpassing benefit of a free mind which is 

gained by humble prayer rather than by reading ... 247 
XXVII. That nothing keeps us back from the sovereign good 

so much as self-love ... ... ... ... ... 249 

XXVIII. Against the tongues of detractors ... ... ... 253 

XXIX. How in the time of tribulation God is to be invoked 

and blessed ... ... ... ... ... ... 255 

XXX. Of asking the divine aid, and of confidence of re- 
covering grace .. . ... ... ... ... ... 257 

XXXI. Of neglecting every creature that so we may fini' the 

Creator ... ... ... ... ... 261 

XXXII. Of denying ourselves and renouncing all covetous- 

ness ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 267 

XXXIII. Of the inconstancy of the heart and of directing our 

final intention to God... ... ... ... ... 269 

XXXIV. That he who loves God relishes him above all things 

and in all things ... ... ... ... ... 271 

XXXV. That there is no security from temptation in this life... 275 

XXXVI. Against the vain judgments of men ... ... ... 277 

XXXVII. Of a pure and full resignation of self for obtaining 

freedom of heart ... ... ... ... ... 281 

XXXVIII. Of good government in outward things and of recourse 

to God in dangers ... ... ... ... ... 283 

XXXIX. That a man must not be over-eager in his affairs ... 285 
XL. That man has no good in himself, and can glory in 

none ... ... ... ... ... ... •■• 287 

XLI. Of the contempt of all temporal honour ... ... 291 

XLII. That our peace is not to be placed in men ... ... 293 

XLIII. Against vain and worldly learning ... ... ... 295 

(. XV .) 



INDEX. 
CAP. PAG. 

XLIV. De non attrahendo sibi res exteriores ... ... ... 298 

XLV. Quod omnibus non est credendum, et de facili lapsu 

verborum ... ... ... ... ... ... 298 

XLVI. De confidentia in Deo habenda quando insurgunt ver- 
borum jacula ... ... ... ... ... ... 304 

XLVII. Quod omnia gravia pro aeterna vita sunt toleranda ... 308 

XLVIII. De die aeternitatis et hujus vitae angustiis ... ... 312 

XLIX. De desiderio aeternae vitae, et quanta sint certantibus 

bona promissa ... ... ... ... ... ... 31S 

L. Qualiter homo desolatus se debet in manus Dei offerre 324 

LI. Quod humilibus insistendum est operibus quum defici- 

tur a summis ... ... ... ... ... ... 330 

LII. Quod homo non reputet se consolatione dignum sed 

magis verberibus reum ... ... ... ... 332 

LIII. Quod gratia Dei non miscetur terrena sapientibus ... 336 

LIV. De diversis motibus naturae et gratiae... ... ... 340 

LV. De corruptione naturae et efficacia gratiae divinae ... 346 

LVI. Quod nos ipsos abnegare et Christum imitari debemus 

per crucem ... ... ... ... ... ... 35- 

LVII. Quod homo non sit nimis dejectus quando in aliquos 

labitur defectus ... ... ... ... ... 356 

LVIII. De altioribus rebus et occultis judiciis Dei non scru- 

tandis 360 

LIX. (^uod omnis spes et fiducia in solo Deo est Agenda 36S 



LIB. IV. 

Devota Exhortatio ad Sacram Communione.m. 

I. Cum quanta reverentia Christus sit suscipiendus ... 374 
II. Quod magna bonitas et caritas Dei in sacramento 

homini exhibetur ... ... ... ... ... 384 

III. Quod utile sit saepe communicare ... ... ... 388 

IV. Quod multa bona praestantur devote communicantibus 394 

( .x.vi ) 



INDEX. 

CHAP. p.\r;F. 

XLIV. Of not drawing to ourselves exterior things ... ... 299 

XLV. That all men are not to be trusted, and that men are 

prone to offend in words ... ... ... ... 299 

XLVI. Of ha\'ing confidence in God when taunts arise 

against us ... ... ... ... ... ... 3^5 

.\L\II. That all grievous things are to be endured for life 

everlasting ... ... ... ... ... ... 309 

XLVm. Of the day of eternity and of the troubles of this 

life 3^3 

XLIX. Of the desire of eternal life, and how great things are 

promised to them that strive .. . ... ... ... 319 

L. How one that is alone in the world ought to commit 

himself into the hands of God ... ... ... 325 

LI. That we must e.xercise ourselves in humble works 

when we cannot attain to high things ... ... 331 

LI I. That a man ought not to esteem himself worthy of 

consolation, but rather deser\ing of stripes... ... 333 

LIII. That the grace of God unites not with those who have 

a relish for earthly things ... ... ... ... 337 

LR'. Of the different motions of nature and grace ... ... 341 

LV. Of the corruption of nature and of the efficacy of 

divine grace ... ... ... ... ... ... 347 

LVI. That we ought to deny ourselves and imitate Christ by 

the cross ... ... ... ... ... ... 353 

LVn. That a man should not be too much dejected when he 

falls into some defects ... ... ... ... 357 

LATH. Of not searching into high matters nor into the secret 

judgments of God ... ... ... ... ... 361 

LIX. That all hope and confidence is to be fi.xed in God 

alone ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 369 



BOOK IV. 
A Devout Exhortation to Holy Communion. 



J/3 



I. With how great reverence Christ is to be received . . . 
II. That the great goodness and love of God is shown to 

man in this .Sacrament ... ... ... ... 3S5 

III. That it is profitable to communicate often ... ... 3S9 

IV. That many benefits are bestowed upon them who com- 

municate devoutly ... ... ... ... ... 39 ^ 

( xvii ; 



INDEX. 
CAP. I'AC. 

V. De dignitate sacramenti et statu sacerdotali ... ... 400 

VI. Interrogatio de exercitio ante communionem ... ... 402 

VII. De discussione propriae conscientiae et emendationis 

proposito ... ... ... ... ... ... 404 

VIII. De oblatione Christi in cruce et propria resignatione... 408 

IX. Quod nos et omnia nostra Deo debemus offerre et pro 

omnibus orare .. . ... ... ... ... ... 410 

X. Quod sacra communio de facili non est relinquenda ... 416 
XI. Quod corpus Christi et sacra scriptura maxime sint 

animae fideli necessaria ... ... ... ... 420 

XII. Quod magna diligentia se debeat communicaturus 

Christo praeparare ... ... ... ... ... 42S 

XIII. Quod toto corde anima devota Christi unionem in 

Sacramento affectare debet ... ... ... ... 432 

XIV. De quorundam devotorum ardenti desiderio ad corpus 

Christi ... ... ... ... 436 

XV. Quod gratia devotionis humihtate et sui ipsius abnega- 

tione acquiritur ... ... ... ... ... 43S 

XVI. Quod necessitates nostras Christo aperire et ejus 

gratiam postulare debemus ... ... ... ... 442 

XVII. De ardenti amore et vehementi affectu suscipiendi 

Christum ... ... ... ... ... ... 444 

XVIII. Quod homo non sit curiosus scrutator sacramenti, sed 
humilis imitator Christi subdendo sensum suimi 
sacrae fidei ... ... ... ... ... ... 44S 



( xviii ) 



INDEX. 



CHAI'. 

V. Of the dignity of the sacrament and of the priestly 

state 
VI. An inquiry concerning the exercises proper before 
Communion 
VII. Of the examination of our own conscience and of a 
resolution of amendment 
VIII. Of the oblation of Christ on the cross and of the resig- 
nation of ourselves 
IX. That we must offer ourselves and all that is ours to 

God and pray for all . . . 
X. That the Holy Communion is not lightly to be forborne 
XI. That the body of Christ and the holy scriptures are 
most necessary to a faithful soul 
XII. That he who is to communicate ought to prepare him- 
self for Christ with great diligence ... 
XIII. That a devout soul ought to desire with her whole 

heart to be united to Christ in the Sacrament 
XH' . Of the ardent longing of some devout men for the body 
of Christ 
XV. That the grace of devotion is obtained by humility and 
self-denial 
XVI. That we ought to lay open our needs to Christ and 

crave his grace 
XVII. Of fer^'ent love and vehement desire to receive Christ 

XVIII. That a man be not a curious searcher into this Sacra- 
ment, but a humble follower of Christ submitting 
sense to holy faith 



I'AGE 

401 
403 

405 
409 

411 
417 

421 
429 

433 

437 

439 

443 
445 

449 



( itix ) 



ADMONITIONES 
AD SPIRITUALEM VITAM UTILES. 

LIBER PRIMUS. 



ADMONITIONS 
USEFUL FOR THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. 

BOOK I. 



DE 

IMITATIONE CHRISTI. 

LIB. I. 

Cap. I.— De Imitatione Christi et Contemptu 

OMNIUM VANITATUM MUNDI. 

I. Qui sequilur me non ambulat in tenebris ; 
dicit Dominus. 

Haec sunt verba Christi quibus admoneinur, 
quatenus vitam ejus et mores imitemur ; 
si velimus veraciter illuminari, 
et ab omni caecitate cordis liberari. 
Summum igitur studium nostrum sit ; 
in vita Jesu Cliristi meditari. 

Doctrina Christi omnes doctrinas sanctorum praecellit : 
et qui spiritum haberet ; 
absconditum ibi manna inveniret. 

Sod contingit quod multi ex frequenti auditu evangehi parvum 
quia spiritum Christi non habent. [desiderium sentiunt ; 

Qui autem vult plene et sapide Christi verba intelligere ; 
oportet ut totam vitam suam ilh studeat conformare. 

( 2 ) 



OF THE 

IMITATION OF CHRIST. 



BOOK I. 

Chapter I.— Of Imitating Christ and Despising all 

THE Vanities of the World. 

I. He that foUoweth me walketh not in darkness ; 
saith the Lord. 

These are the words of Christ by which we are admonished, 
how far we must imitate his Ufe and manners ; 
if we would be truly enlightened, 
and delivered from all blindness of heart. 
Let it then be our chief study ; 
to meditate in the life of Jesus Christ. 

The teaching of Christ surpasses all the teachings of the saints : 
and whosoever had the spirit ; 
would find therein the hidden manna. 

Pi Lit it happens that many Ijy the frequent hearing of the Gospel 
because they have not the spirit of Christ. [feel little care for it ; 

He however who would understand in their full savour the words 
must study to make his whole life conformable to him. [of Christ ; 

(3 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. I. 

II. Quid prodest tibi alta de Trinitate disputare : 
si careas humilitate unde displiceas Trinitati ? 
Vere alta verba non faciunt sanctum et justum ; 
sed virtuosa vita efficit Deo carum. 
Opto magis sentire compunctionem ; 
quam scire ejus definitionem. 

.Si scires totam bibliam exterius et omnium philosophorum dicta ; 
quid totum prodesset sine caritate Dei et gratia ? 

Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas ; 
praeter amare Deum et illi soli servire. 
Ista est summa sapientia ; 
per contemptum mundi tendere ad regna caelestia. 

Vanitas igitur est divitias perituras quaerere ; 
et in illis sperare. 

Vanitas quoque est honores ambire ; 
et in altum statum se extoUere. 
Vanitas est carnis desideria sequi ; 

et illud desiderare unde postmodum graviter oportet puniri. 
Vanitas est longam vitam optare ; 
et de bona vita parum curare. 
Vanitas est praesentem vitam solum attendere : 
et quae futura sunt non praevidere. 
Vanitas est diligere quod cum omni celeritate transit ; 
et illic non festinare ubi sempiternum gaudium manet. 

Memento illius frequenter proverbii : 
quia non satiatur oculus visu ; 
nee auris impletur auditu. 

Stude ergo cor tuum ab amore visibilium abstrahere ; 
et ad invisibilia te transferre. 

Nam sequentes suam sensualitatem maculant conscientiam ; 
et perdunt Dei gratiam. 



(4) 



Book 1. Chap. I. . Of thk Imitation of Christ. 

II. What avails it thee to discourse deeply of the Trinity : 
if thou be void of humility and therefore displeasing to the Trinity ': 
In truth it is not deep talk that makes a man holy and just ; 
but a virtuous life that makes him dear to God. 
I had rather feel compunction ; 

than know its definition. [the philosophers : 

If thou didst know the whole Bible by heart and the sayings of all 
what would it all profit thee without the love of God and grace ? 

\'anity of vanities and all is vanity ; 
beside loving- God and serving him alone. 
This is the highest wisdom ; 
by despising the world to strive after heavenly kingdoms. 

It is vanity therefore to seek after riches which must perish ; 
and to trust in them. 

It is vanity also to lay one's self out for honours ; 
and to raise one's self to a high station. 
It is vanity to follow the desires of the flesh ; 

and to covet that for which we must afterwards be grievously 
It is vaijity to wish for long life ; [punished, 

and to take little care of leading a good life. 
It is vanity to mind only this present life ; 
and not to look forward to those things which are to come. 
It is vanity to love that which passes with all speed ; 
and not to hasten thither where everlasting joy abides. 

Often remember the proverb : 
the eye is not satisfied with seeing ; 
nor is the ear filled with hearing. 

Study therefore to withdraw thy heart from the love of visible things : 
and to turn thyself to things invisible. 
For they who follow their own lust defile their conscience ; 
and lose the grace of God. 



^5) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. II. 



Cap. II.— De humili sentire sui ipsius. 

I. Omnis homo naturaliter scire desiderat : 
sed scientia sine timore Dei quid importat ? 
Melior est profecto humilis rusticus qui Deo servit; 

quam superbus philosophus qui seneglecto cursum caeli considerat. 

Qui bene se ipsum cognoscit sibi ipsi vilescit ; 
nee laudibus delectatur humanis. 
Si scirem omnia quae in mundo sunt, 
et non essem in caritate : 
quid me juvaret coram Deo qui me judicaturus est ex facto .'' 

Quiesce a nimio sciendi desiderio ; 
quia magna ibi invenitur distractio et deceptio. 
Scientes libenter volunt videri et dici sapientes. 
Multa sunt ; 

quae scire parum vel nihil animae prosunt. 
Et valde insipiens est ; 
qui aliquibus intendit, 
quam his quae saluti suae deserviunt. 
Multa verba non satiant animani : 
sed bona vita refrigerat mentem ; 
et pura conscientia, 
magnam ad Deum praestat confidentiam. 

Quanto plus et melius scis ; 
tanto gravius inde judicaberis nisi sanctius vixeris. 
Noli ergo extolli de ulla arte vel scientia ; 
sed potius time de data tibi notitia. 

II. Si tibi videtur quod multa scis et satis bene intelligis : 
scito tamen quia sunt multo plura quae nescis. 

Noli altum sapere ; 

(6) 



Book I. Chap. II. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter II.— Of having a Humble Opinion of Self. 

I. Every man naturally desires to know : 
but what is the worth of knowledge without the fear of God? 
Better indeed is a humble peasant who serves God ; [of the heavens, 
than a proud philosopher who neglecting himself considers the course 

He who knows himself well becomes mean in his own eyes ; 
and is not delighted by praise of men. 
If I should know all things that are in the world, 
and were not in charity : 

what help would it be to me in the presence of God who will judge 

[me by my deeds ? 

Cease from a too great desire of knowing ; 
because there is found therein much distraction and deceit. 
They who are learned are desirous of appearing and of being called 
There are many things ; [wise, 

the knowledge of which is of little or no profit to the soul. 
And he is very unwise ; 
who attends to any things, 
but what serve to his salvation. 
A multitude of words do not satisfy the soul : 
but a good life gives comfort to the mind ; 
and a pure conscience, 
affords great trust in God. 

The more and the better thou knowest ; [the more holy, 

the more heavy therefore will be thy judgment unless thy life be 
Be not therefore puffed up by reason of any art or skill ; 
but rather fear on account of the knowledge which is given thee 

[standest them well enou.^h ; 

II. If it seem to thee that thou knowest many things and under- 
know that at the same time there are many more things of which 
Be not high-minded ; [thou art ignorant. 

(7) 



De Imitatione Christi. , Lib. I, Cap. III. 

sed ignorantiam tuam magis fatere. 

Quid te vis alicui praeferre : 

quum plures doctiores te inveniantur. 

et magis in lege periti ? 

Si vis utiliter aliquid scire et discere ; 

ama nesciri et pro nihilo reputari. 

Haec est altissima et utilissima lectio ; 
sui ipsius vera cognitio et despectio. 
De se ipso nihil tenere, 
et de aliis semper bene et alte sentire ; 
magna sapientia est et perfectio. 
Si videres alium aperte peccare, 
vel aliqua gravia perpetrare : 
non deberes te tamen meliorem aestimare ; 
quia nescis quam diu possis in bono stare. 
Omnes fragiles sumus : 
sed tu neminem fragiliorem te ipso tenebis. 



Cap. III.— De Doctrin.^ Veritatis. 

I. Felix quem veritas per se docet, 
non per figuras et voces transeuntes ; 
sed sicuti se habet. 

Nostra opinio et noster sensus saepe nos fallit ; 
et modicum videt. 

Quid prodest magna cavillatio de occultis et obscuris rebus 
de quibus nee arguemur in judicio quia ignoravimus ? 
Grandis insipientia quod neglectis utilibus et necessariis; 
ultro intendimus curiosis et damnosis. 
Oculos habentes non videmus : 

< 8) 



Book I. Chap. III. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

but rather acknowledge thine ignorance. 

Why wouldest thou prefer thyself to any one : 

since many are to be found more learned than thyself, 

and more skilful in the law ? 

If thou wouldest know and learn something to the purpose ; 

love to be unknown and to be esteemed as nothing. 

This is the highest and most profitable lesson ; 
truly to know and to despise ourselves. 
To have no opinion of ourselves, 
and to think always well and highly of others ; 
is great wisdom and perfection. 
If thou shouldest see another sin openly, 
or commit some grievous crime : 
yet thou oughtest not to esteem thyself better ; 
because thou knowest not how long thou mayest be able to remain 
"We are all frail ; [in a good state, 

but as to thee do not think any one more frail than thyself. 



Ch.'vpter III.— Of the Doctrine of Truth. 

I. Happy is he whom truth teaches by itself, 
not by figures and words that pass ; 
but as it is in itself. 

Our opinion and our sense often deceive us ; 
and see very little. [about hidden and obscure matters : 

What is the use of making a great dispute [judgment ? 

for the being ignorant of which we shall not be accused in the 
It is a great folly for us to neglect things profitable and necessary ; 
and needlessly to busy ourselves about those which are curious and 
We have eyes and see not : [hurtful. 

(9) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. IIL 

et quid curae nobis de generibus et speciebus? 

Cui aeternum verbum loquitur ; 
a multis opinionibus expeditur. 
Ex uno verbo omnia : 
et unum loquuntur omnia ; 
et hoc est principium, 
quod et loquitur nobis. 
Nemo sine illo intelligit, 
aut recte judicat. 
Cui omnia unum sunt, 
et omnia ad unum trahit, 
et omnia in uno videt : 
potest stabilis corde esse ; 
et in Deo pacificus permanere. 

O Veritas Deus ; 
fac me unum tecum in caritate perpelua. 
Taedet me saepe multa legere et audire ; 
in te est totum quod volo et desidero. 

Taceant omnes doctores sileant universae creaturae in conspectu 
tu mihi loquere solus. [tuo ; 

II. Quanto aliquis magis sibi unitus et interius simplificatus 
tanto plura et altiora sine labore intelligit ; [fuerit : 

quia desuper lumen intelligentiae accipit. 

Purus simplex et stabilis spiritus in multis operibus non dissipatur : 
quia omnia ad Dei honorem operatur ; 
et in se otiosus ab omni propria exquisitione esse nititur. 
Quis te magis impedit et molestat : 
quam tua immortificata affectio cordis? 
Bonus et devotus homo opera sua prius intus disponit ; 
quae foris agere debet. 

Nee ilia trahunt eum ad desideria vitiosae inclinationis ; 
sed ipse inflectit ea ad arbitrium rectae rationis. 
Quis habet fortius certamen : 
quam qui nititur vincere se ipsum ? 
Et hoc deberet esse negotium nostrum, 
vincere videlicet se ipsum : 

( 10 ) 



Book I. Chap. III. Of the Imit.xtion of Christ. 

and what need have we to concern ourselves about genera and 
He to whom the eternal word speaks ; {species? 

is set at liberty from a multitude of opinions. 

From one word are all tilings : 

and this one all things speak ; 

and this is the beginning, 

which also speaks to us. 

Without this word no one understands, 

or judges rightly. 

He to whom all things are one, 

and who draws all things to one, 

and who sees all things in one : 

may be steadfast in heart ; 

and peaceably repose in God. 
O God who art the truth ; 

make me one with thee in everlasting love. 

I am often wearied with reading and hearing many things : 

in thee is all that I will or desire. 

Let all teachers hold their peace let all creatures keep silence in 

speak to me thou alone. [thy sight ; 

II. The more a man is united within himself and inwardly simple : 
the more and higher things he understands without labour ; 
because he receives the light of understanding from above. 
A pure simple and steady spirit is not distracted by a multitude 
because he does them all for the honour of God ; [of affairs : 

and at rest within himself strives to be free from all self-seeking. 
Who is a greater hindrance and trouble to thee : 
than thine own unmortified affection of heart ? 
A good and devout man first lays out inwardly the works ; 
which he is to do outwardly. 

Neither do they draw him to the desires of a vicious inclination ; 
but he bends them himself to the rule of right reason. 
Who has a stronger conflict : 
than he who strives to overcome himself ? 
And this should be our business, 
to strive to overcome ourselves : 

( " > 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. Hi. 

et quotidie se ipso fortiorem fieri ; 
atque in melius aliquid proficere. 

III. Omnis perfectio in hac vita, 
quandam imperfectionem sibi habet annexam : 
et omnis speculatio nostra quadam caligine non caret. 
Humilis tui cognitio, 
certior via est ad Deum ; 
quam profunda scientiae inquisitio. 
Non est culpanda scientia, 
aut quaelibet simplex rei notitia, 
quae bona est in se considerata et a Deo ordinata ; 
sed praeferenda est semper bona conscientia et virtuosa vita. 
Quia vero plures magis student scire quam bene vivere : 
ideo saepe errant ; 
et paene nullum vel modicum fructum ferunt. 

O si tantamadhiberentdiligentiamadexstirpanda vitia et virtutes 
nonfierenttantamalaetscandalainpopulo; Tinserendas sicuti ad 
nee tanta dissolutio in coenobiis. [movendasquaestiones: 

Certeadveniente die judicii non quaeretur a nobis quid legimus 
nee quam bene diximus ; [sed quid fecimus : 

sed quam religiose viximus. 

Die mihi ubi sunt modo omnes illi domini et magistri quos bene 
et studiis florerent ? [novisti dum adhuc viverent, 

Jam eorum praebendas alii possident ; 
et nescio utrum de eis recogitant. 
In vita sua aliquid esse videbantur ; 
et modo de illis tacetur. 
O quam cito transit gloria mundi. 

Utinam vita eorum scientiae ipsorum concordasset ; 
tunc bene studuissent et legissent. 
Guam multi pereunt per vanam scientiam in saeculo : 
qui parum curant de Dei servitio. 
Et quia magis eligunt magni esse quam humiles; 
ideo evanescunt in cogitationibus suis. 

Vere magnus est ; 
qui magnam habet caritatem. 

( 12 ) 



Book I. Chap. III. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and daily to become-«tronger than we were ; 
and to make some advance towards the better. 

III. All perfection in this life, 
has some imperfection clinging to it ; 
and no speculation is without a certain obscurity. 
The humble knowledge of thyself, 
is a surer way to God ; 
than a deep search after learning. 
Learning is not to be blamed, 
nor is any mere knowledge of a subject, 
since this considered in itself is good and ordained by God ; 
but a good conscience and a virtuous life are always to be preferred. 
But because many make it more their study to know than to live well : 



do in proposing questions 
implanting virtues as they 



therefore they often err ; 

and bring forth little or no fruit. 

Oh if men would use as much diligence in rooting out vices and 
there would not be such great evils and scandals among the people ; 
nor so much laxity in religious houses. 

Verily when the day of judgment comes we shall not be asked 
nor how well we have spoken ; fwhat we have read but 

but how religiously we have lived. [what we have done : 

Tell me where are now all those great doctors and masters 
and flourished in learning ? ("whom thou knewest so well 

Others already possess their offices ; [whilst they were alive, 
and I know not whether they ever turn back their thoughts to them. 
In their lifetime they seemed to be somewhat ; 
and now they are not spoken of. 
Oh how quickly passes away the glory of the world. 

Would that their lives had been answerable to their learning ; 
then would they have studied and read to good purpose. 
How many perish in the world through vain learning ; 
who take little care about serving God. 
And because they choose rather to be great than humble : 
therefore they have become vain in their imaginations. 

He is truly great ; 
who has great charity. 

( 13 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lir. I. Cap. IV. 

Vere magnus est ; 

qui in se parvus est, 

etpro nihilo omne culmen honoris ducit. 

Vere prudens est, 

qui omnia terrena arbitratur ut stercora, 

ut Christum lucrifaciat. 

Et vere bene doctus est ; 

qui Dei voluntatem facit, 

et suam voluntatem relinquit. 



Cap. IV.— De Providentia in Agendis. 

I. Non est credendum omni verbo nee instinctui ; 

sed caute et longanimiter res est secundum Deum ponderanda. 

Proh dolor saepe malum facilius quam bonuni de alio creditur et 
ita infirmi sumus. [dicitur ; 

Sed perfecti viri non facile credunt omni enarranti : 
quia sciunt infirmitatem humanam ad malum proclivam ; 
et in verbis satis labilem. 

II. Magna sapientia, 

non esse praecipitem in agendis ; 

nee pertinaciter in propriis stare sensibus. 

Ad banc etiam pertinet non quibuslibet hominum verbis credere ; 

nee audita vel credita mox ad aliorum aures effundere. 

Cum sapiente et conscientioso viro consilium habe : 

et quaere potius a meliore instrui ; 

quam tuas adinventiones sequi. 

Bona vita facit hominem sapieiitem secundum Deum; 
et expertum in multis. 

Quanto quis in se humilior fuerit et Deo subjectior ; 
tanto in omniljus erit sapientior et pacatior. 



( H) 



Book I. Chap. IV. Of riiii Imitation of Christ. 

He is truly great ; 

who is little in his own e3'es, 

and makes no account of any height of honour. 

He is truly wise, 

who looks upon all earthly things as dung, 

that he may gain Christ. 

And he truly is well learned ; 

who does the will of God, 

and renounces his own will. 



Chapter IV.— Of Prudence in our Doings. 

I. We must not give credit to every word or suggestion ; [God. 
but should carefully and leisurely weigh the matter according to 

Alas that we often more readily believe and speak of another 
so weak are we. [that which is evil than that which is good ; 

But perfect men do not easily give credit to every report : 
because they know that human frailty is prone to evil ; 
and very apt to fail in words. 

II. It is great wisdom, 

not to be rash in what we have to do ; 

nor to maintain too obstinately our own opinion. 

It is also wisdom not to believe every thing that men say ; 

nor presently to pour into the ears of others the things which we 

Take counsel with a wise and conscientious man : Hhave heard 

and seek rather to be instructed by one that is better ; [or believed. 

than to follow thine own inventions. 

A good life makes a man wise according to God ; 
and experienced in many things. 

The more humble a man is in himself and the more subject to God ; 
the wiser will he be in all things and the more at peace. 

(IS) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. V. 



Cap. v.— De Lectione Sanctarum Scripturarum. 

I. Veritas est in scripturis Sanctis quaerenda ; 
non eloquentia. 

Omnis scriptura sacra eo spiritu debet legi quo facta est. 
Quaerere potius debemus utilitatem in scripturis ; 
quam subtilitatem sermonis. 

II. Ita libenter devotos et simplices libros legere debemus; 
sicut altos et profundos. 

Non te offendat auctoritas scribentis, 

utrum parvae vel magnae literaturae fuerit ; 

sed amor purae veritatis te trahatad legendum. 

Non quaeras quis hoc dixerit ; 

sed quid dicatur attende. 

Homines transeunt : 

sed Veritas Domini manet in aeternum. 

Sine personarum acceptione, 

variis modis loquitur nobis Deus. 

[arum ; 

III. Curiositas nostra saepe nos impedit in lectione scriptur- 
quum volumus intelligere et discutere ubi simpliciter esset trans- 
Si vis profectum haurire: [eundum. 
lege humi liter, 

simpliciter et fideliter ; 

nee umquam velis habere nomen scientiae. 

Interroga libenter : 

et audi tacens verba sanctorum ; 

nee displiceant tibi parabolae seniorum, 

sine causa enim non proferuntur. 



( i6 ) 



Book I. Chap. V. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter V.— Of Reading the Holy Scriptures. 

I. Truth is to be sought for in holy scripture ; 
not eloquence. 

All holy scripture ougln to be read with that spirit with which it 
We must seek rather for profit in the scripture ; [was made 

than for subtlety of speech. 

II. We ought as willingly to read devout and simple books : 
as those that are high and profound. 

Let not the authority of the writer be a difficulty to thee, 

whether he be of little or great learning : 

but let the love of simple truth lead thee to read. 

Inquire not who said this ; 

but attend to what is said. 

Men pass away ; 

but the truth of the Lord remaineth for ever. 

Without respect of persons, 

God speaks in many ways to us. 

III. Our own curiosity often hinders us in reading the scriptures ; 
when we wish to understand and discuss where we should simply 
If thou wouldest draw profit therefrom : [pass on. 
read with humility, 

simplicity and faith ; 

and seek not at any time the repute of being learned. 

Willingly inquire after : 

and hear with silence the words of the saints ; 

and be pleased with the discourses of the elders, 

for they are not spoken without cause. 



( 17 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. VII. 



Cap. VI.— De Inordinatis Affectionibus. 

I. Quandocumque homo aliquid inordinate appetit ; 
statim in se inquietus fit. 

Superbus et avarus numquam quiescunt ; 

pauper et humilis spiritu in multitudine pacis conversantur. 

II. Homo qui necdum perfecte in se mortuus est, 
cito tentatur : 

et vincitur in parvis et vilibus rebus. [inclinatus : 

Infirmus in spiritu et quodammodo adhuc carnalis et ad sensibilia 

difficulter se potest a terrenis desideriis ex toto abstrahere. 

Et ideo saepe habet tristitiam quum se subtrahit ; 

leviter etiam indignatur si quis ei resistit. 

Si autem prosecutus fuerit quod concupiscit : 

statim ex reatu conscientiae gravatur, 

quia secutus est passionem suam ; 

quae nihil juvat ad pacem quam quaesivit. 

III. Resistendo igitur passionibus invenitur pax vera cordis ; 
non autem eis ferviendo. 

Non est ergo pax in corde hominis carnalis ; 
non in homine exterioribus dedito ; 
sed in fervido et spirituali. 



Cap. VII.— De Vana .Spe et Elatione Fugienda. 

I. Vanus est; 
qui spem suam ponit in liominibus nut in crcaturis. 



Book I. Chap. VII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter VI.— Of Inordinate Affections. 

I. Whensoever a man desires anything inordinately ; 
he is presently disquieted within himself. 

The proud and covetous are never at rest ; 

the poor and humble of spirit live in the abundance of peace. 

II. The man who is not yet perfectly dead to himself, 
is soon tempted ; 

and overcome by small and trifling things. [to sensual things ; 

He who is weak in spirit and still to some extent carnal and inclined 

can hardly withdraw himself wholly from earthly desires. 

And therefore he is often sad when he withdraws himself from 

and is easily moved to anger if any one thwart him. [iheni ; 

Dut if he has attained his inclinations : 

he is presently sad because his conscience accuses him, 

of having followed his passions ; 

which help him not at all towards the peace he sought. 

III. And so it is by resisting our passions that we are to find 
and not by being slaves to them. [true peace of heart ; 
There is no peace therefore in the heart of a carnal man ; 

nor in a man who is given to outward things ; 
but in the fervent and spiritual man. 



Chapter VII.— Of Fi.ving Vain Hope and Pride, 

I. He is vain ; 
who puts his trust in men or in creatures. 

( 19 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. VII. 

Non te pudeat aliis servire amore Jesu Christi; 
et pauperem in hoc saeculo videri. 

Non stes super te ipsum ; 
sed in Deo spem tuam constitue. 
Fac quod in te est; 
et Deus aderit bonae voluntati tuae. 

Non confidas in tua scientia, 
vel astutia cujuscumque viventis : 
sed magis in Dei gratia ; 
qui adjuvat humiles et de se praesumentes humiliat. 

II. Ne glorieris in divitiis si adsunt : 
nee in aniicis quia potentes sunt ; 
sed in Deo qui omnia praestat, 
et se ipsum super omnia dare desiderat. 

Non te extollas de magnitudine vel pulchritudine corporis ; 
quae modica infirmitate corrumpitur et defoedatur. 

Non placeas tibi ipsi de habilitate aut ingenio tuo : 
ne displiceas Deo ; 
cujus est totum quidquid boni naturaliter habueris. 

Non te reputes aliis meliorem : 
ne forte coram Deo deterior habearis ; 
qui scit quid est in homine. 
Non superbias de operibus bonis : 
quia aliter sunt judicia Dei quam hominum ; 
cui saepe displicet quod hominibus placet. 
Si aliquid boni habueris : 
crede de aliis meliora ; 
ut humilitatem conserves. 
Non nocet si omnibus te supponas ; 
nocet autem plurimum, 
si vel uni te praeponas. 
Jugis pax cum humili ; 
in corde autem superbi zelus et indignatio frequens. 



( 20 ) 



Book I, Chap. VII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

Be not ashamed to serve others for the love of Jesus Christ ; 
and to appear poor in this world. 

Stand not on thyself; 
but place thy hope in God. 
Do what is in thy power ; 
and God will be with thy good will. 

Trust not in thine own knowledge, 
nor in the cunning of any man living : 
but rather in the grace of God ; 

who helps the humble and humbles those who presume on them- 

[selves. 

II. Glory not in riches if thou hast them : 
nor in friends because they are powerful ; 
but in God who gives all things, 
and desires to give himself above all things. 

Boast not thyself of the size nor of the beauty of the body ; 
which is spoiled and disfigured by a little sickness. 

Take no pride in thy talents or thy wit : 
lest thou displease God ; 
from whom comes every natural good which thou mayest possess. 

Esteem not thyself better than others : 
lest perhaps thou be accounted worse in the sight of God ; 
who knows what is in man. 
Be not proud of thy good works : 

for the judgments of God are other than the judgments of men ; 
and oftentimes that displeases him which pleases men. 
If thou hast anything of good : 
believe still better things of others ; 
that thou mayest preserve humility. 
It does thee no harm to esteem thyself the worst of all ; 
but it hurts thee very much, 
to prefer thyself before even one. 
With the humble is continual peace ; 
but in the heart of the proud are envy and frequent anger. 



(21 ) 



DE IMITATIONE CHRlbTl. LiB. I. Cap. IX. 



Cap. VIII.— De Cavenda nimia Familiaritate. 

I. Non omni homini reveles cor tuum ; 

sed cum sapiente et timente Deum age causam tuam. 

Cum juvenibus et extraneis rarus esto. 

Cum divitibus noli blandire ; 

et coram magnatis non libenter appareas. 

Cum humilibus et simplicibus, 

cum devotis et morigeratis sociare ; 

et quae aedificationis sunt pertracta. 

Non sis familiaris alicui mulieri ; 

sed in communi omnes bonas mulieres Deo commenda. 

II. Soli Deo et angelis ejus opta familiaris esse ; 
et hominum notitiam devita. 

Caritas habenda est ad omnes ; 
sed familiaritas non expedit. 
Quandoque accidit, 

ut persona ignota ex bona fama lucescat ; 
cujus tamen praesentia oculos intuentium offuscat. 
Putamus aliquando aliis placere ex conjunctione nostra ; 
et incipimus magis displicere ex morum improbitate in nobis 

[considerata. 



Cap. IX.— De Obedientia et Subjectione. 

I. Valde magnum est in obedientia stare : 
sub piaelato vivere ; 
et sui juris non esse. 

(22) 



Rook I. Chap. IX. Of the Imitatio.n of Christ. 



Chapter VIII.- Of Shunning too much Familiarity. 

I. Discover not thy heart to every man ; 

but treat of thy affairs with one who is wise and fears God. 

Keep not much company with young people and those who arc 

i5e not a flatterer with the rich ; [without. 

nor willingly appear in the presence of the great. 

Associate thyself with the humble and simple, 

with the devout and obedient ; 

and treat of those things which may be to edification. 

Be not a friend to any one woman ; 

but recommend all good women in general to God. 

II. Desire to be familiar only with God and his angels ; 
and fly the acquaintance of men. 

We must have charity towards all ; 
but familiarity is not e.xpedient. 
It sometimes happens, 

that a person when not known shines by a good reputation ; 
who when he is present shows no light in the eyes of them that see 
We think sometimes to please others by being with them ; [him. 
and we begin rather to disgust them by the inconsistency of conduct 

[which they notice in us. 



Chapter IX.— Of Obedience and Subjection 

I. It is a very great thing to stand in obedience : 
to live under a superior ; 
and not to be our own masters. 

( 23 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib, I. Cap. IX. 

Multo tutius est stare in subjectione ; 
quam in praelatura. 

Multi sunt sub obedientia magis ex necessitate quam ex caritate ; 
et illi poenam habent et ieviter murmurant. 
Nee libertatem mentis acquirent ; 
nisi ex toto corde propter Deum se subjiciant. 
Curre hie vel ibi ; 

non invenies quietem nisi in humili subjectione, 
sub regimine praelati. 
Imaginatio locorum et mutatio, 
multos fefellit. 

II. Verum est quod unusquisque libenter agit pro sensu suo ; 
et inclinatur ad eos magis qui secum sentiunt. 
Sed si Deus est inter nos ; 
necesse est ut relinquamus etiam quandoque nostrum sentire 

Quis est ita sapiens : [propter bonum pacis. 

qui omnia plene scire potest ? 
Ergo noli nimis'in sensu tuo eonfidere ; 
sed velis etiam libenter aliorum sensum audire. 

Si bonum est tuum sentire : 
et hoe ipsum propter Deum dimittis et alium sequeris ; 
magis exinde proficies. 
Audivi enim saepe ; 
securius esse audire, 
et accipere consilium quam dare. 

Potest etiam contingere, 
ut bonum sit uniuscujusque sentire : 
sed nolle aliis aequieseere, 
quum id ratio aut causa postulat ; 
signum est superbiae et pertinaciae. . 



(=4) 



Book I. Chap. IX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

It is much more secure to be in the state of subjection ; 
than in authority. [of God : 

Many are under obedience more out of necessity than for the love 
and such as these suffer and repine on the slightest occasion. 
Nor will they gain freedom of mind ; 

unless they submit themselves with their whole heart for the sake 
Run here or there ; [of God. 

thou wilt find no rest but in humble subjection, 
under the rule of a superior. 
The fancying and the changing of places, 
have deceived many. 

II. It is true every one is desirous of acting according to his 
and is more inclined to such as are of his own mind, [own liking : 
But if God be amongst us ; 
we must sometimes give up our own opinion for the blessing of 

Who is so wise : [peace, 

as to be able fully to know all things ? 
Therefore trust not too much to thine own notions ; 
but be willing even gladly to hear the sentiments of others. 

Although thine opinion be good : 
yet if for God's sake thou leavest it to follow that of another ; 
it will be more profitable to thee. 
For I have often heard ; 
that it is safer to hear, 
and take counsel than to give it. 

It may also happen, 
that each man's idea may be good : 
but to refuse to yield to others, 
when reason or a just cause requires it ; 
is a sign of pride and wilfulness. 



( =5 ; 



De Imitatione Cheisti. Lib. I, Cap. X. 



Cap. X.— De Cavenda Superfluitate Verp.orum. 

I, Caveas tumultum hominum quantum potes : 
multum enim impedit tractatus saecularium gestorum, 
etiamsi simplici intentione proferantur. 

Cito enim inquinamur vanitate et captivamur. 
Vellem me pluries tacuisse ; 
et inter homines non fuisse. 

II. Sed quare tarn libenter loquimur et invicem fabulamur : 
quum tamen raro sine laesione conscientiae ad silentium redimus ? 
Ideo tarn libenter loquimur : 

quia per mutuas locutiones ab invicem consolari quaerimus ; 

et cor diversis cogitationibus fatigatum optanuis relevare. 

Et multum libenter de his quae multum diligimus vel cupimus, 

vel quae nobis contraria sentimus ; 

libet loqui et cogitare. 

Sed proh dolor, 

saepe inaniter et frustra. 

Nam haec exterior consolatio; 

interioris et divinae consolationis non modicum detrimentum est. 

III. Ideo vigilandum est et orandum ; 
ne tempus otiose transeat. 
Si loqui licet et expedit ; 
quae aedificabilia sunt loquere. 
Malus usus et negligentia profectus nostri ; 
multum facit ad incustodiam oris nostri. 
Juvat tamen non parum ad profectum spiritualem, 
devota spiritualium rerum collatio ; 
maxime ubi pares animo et spiritu in Deo sibi sociantur. 

( 26) 



Book I. Chap. X. Of thi; Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter X.— Of Avoiding Superfluity of Words. 

I. Fly the tumult of men as much as thou canst : 
for treating of worldly affairs is a great hindrance, 
although they be discoursed of with a simple intention. 
For we are soon tainted by vanity and led captive. 

Oft times I could wish I had been silent : 
and that I had not been in company with men. 

[another : 

II. But why are we so willing to talk and discourse with one 
albeit we seldom return to silence without hurt of conscience ? 
The reason why we are so willing to talk is : 

because by discoursing together we seek comfort from one another ; 

and would gladly ease the heart wearied by various thoughts. 

And of such things as we much love and desire, 

or of those which we imagine contrary to us ; 

we willingly talk and think much. 

But alas, 

it is often in vain and to no purpose. 

For this outward consolation ; 

is no small hindrance to inward and divine consolation. 

III. Therefore we must watch and pray; 
that our time pass not away idly. 

If it be lawful and expedient to speak ; 

speak those things which may edify. 

A bad habit and a neglect of our advancement ; 

is the great cause of our keeping so little guard upon our mouth. 

But devout conferences on spiritual things, 

help very much to spiritual progress ; [together in God. 

especially where persons of the same mind and spirit are associated 



(27 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Li p. I. Cap. XI. 



Cap. XI.— De Pace Acquirenda et Zelo Proficiendi. 

I. Multam possemus pacem habere ; 

si non vellemus nos cum aliorum clictis et factis et quae ad nostram 
Ouomodo potest ille diu in pace manere : Tcuram non spec- 

qui alienis curis se intermiscet, [tant occupare. 

qui occasiones forinsecus quaerit, 
qui parum vel raro se intrinsecus colligit ? 

Beati simplices ; 
quoniam multam pacem habebunt. 

Quare quidam sanctorum tarn perfecti et contemplativi fuerunt ? 
Quia omnino se ipsos mortificare ab omnibus terrenis desideriis 
et ideo totis meduUis cordis Deo inhaerere, [studuerunt ; 

atque libere sibi vacare potuerunt. 

Nos nimium occupamur propriis passionibus ; 
et de transitoriis nimis sollicitamur. 
Raro etiam unum vitium perfecte vincimus : 
et ad quotidianum profectum non accendimur ; 
ideo frigidi et tepidi remanemus. 
Si essemus nobis ipsis perfecte mortui, 
et interius minime implicati : 
tunc possemus etiam divina sapere ; 
et de caelesti contemplatione aliquid experiri. 

Totum et maximum impedimentum est, 
quia non sumus a passionibus et concupiscentiis liberi ; 
nee perfectam sanctorum viam conamur ingredi. 
Quando etiam modicum adversitatis occurrit, 
nimis cito dejicimur : 
et ad humanas consolationes convertimur. 

II. Si nitercmur sicut viri fortes stare in proelio ; 

( 28) 



Hook I. Chap. XI. Of the Lnhtation of Christ. 



Chapter XI. —Of Acquiring Peace and of Zeal in Progress. 

I. We might have much peace ; 

if we would not busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others 
How can he remain long in peace : ["and with things 

who entangles himself with the cares of others, which concern 

who seeks occasions for going abroad, L'-i^ ^o'^- 

and who is little or seldom inwardly recollected ? 

Blessed are the single-hearted ; 
for they shall have much peace. 

[saints were so perfect and contemplative ? 

What is the reason why some of the [all earthly desires; 

Because they made it their study wholly to mortify in themselves 
and thus they were enabled to cleave with the whole marrow of 
and freely to give their leisure to themselves, [their hearts to God, 

We are too much taken up with our own passions ; 
and too anxious about transitory things. 
And seldom do we perfectly overcome so much as one vice : 
nor are we inflamed with the desire to improve every day ; 
and therefore we remain cold and lukewarm. 
If we were perfectly dead to ourselves, 
and no wise entangled in our inner hearts : 
then might we be able to relish things divine ; 
and e.xperience something of heavenly contemplation. 

The one and the great hindrance is, 
that we are not free from passions and lusts ; 
and do not strive to enter upon the perfect way of the saints. 
And so when we meet with even a small difficulty, 
we are too quickly dejected ; 
and we turn away for human consolation. 

II. If we would strive like valiant men to stand in the battle ; 

( 29 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XII. 

profecto auxilium Domini super nos videremus de caelo. 

Ipse enim certantes at de sua gratia sperantes paratus est adjuvare; 

qui nobis certandi occasiones procurat ut vincamus. 

Si tantum in istis exterioribus observantiis profectum religionis 
cito finem habebit devotio nostra. [ponimus ; 

Sed ad radicem securim ponamus ; 
ut purgati a passionibus pacificam mentem possideamus. 

Si omni anno unum vitium exstirparemus; 
cito viri perfecti efficeremur. 
Sed modo e contrario saepe sentimus : 

ut meliores at purioras in initio conversionis nos fuisse inveniamus ; 
quam post multos annos professionis. 

Fervor et profectus quotidie deberet crescere : 
sed nunc pro magno videtur ; 
si quis primi fervoris partem posset retinare. 

Si modicam violentiam faceremus in principio ; 
tunc postea cuncta possemus facere cum levitate et gaudio. 
Grave est assueta dimittere ; 
sed gravius est contra propriam voluntatem ire. 
Sed si non vincis parva et levia: 
quando superabis difificiliora ? 
Rasiste in principio inclinationi tuae : 
et malam dedisce consuetudinem ; 
ne forte paulatim ad majorem te ducat difficultatem. 

[ipsum bene habendo ; 

O si adverteres quantam tibi pacem et aliis laetitiam fa ceres te 
puto quod sollicitior esses ad spiritualem profectum. 



Cap. XII.— De Utilitate Adversitatis. 

I. Bonum nobis est quod aliquando habeamus aliquas gravitates 
quia saepe hominem ad cor revocant : [et contrarietates ; 

quatenus se in exsilio esse cognoscat ; 

( 30 ) 



Hook I. Chap. XH. Of thk Imitation ok Christ. 

[heaven, 
doubtless we should see the help of the Lord held over us from 
For he is ready to help those who fight and trust in his grace ; [come, 
he who furnishes us with occasions of fighting that we may over- 

If we place our progress in religion in outward observances only ; 
our devotion will quickly be at an end. 
1 jut let us lay the axe to the root ; 
that being purged from passions we may possess a quiet mind. 

If every year we rooted out one vice ; 
we should soon become perfect men. 
But now we often observe on the contrary : 

that we find we were better and more pure in the beginning of our 
than after many years of profession. [conversion ; 

Our fervour and progress ought to be every day greater : 
but now it is esteemed a great matter ; 
if a man can retain part of his first fervour. 

If we would do a little violence to ourselves in the beginning ; 
we might afterwards do all things with ease and joy. 
It is hard to leave off old habits ; 
but harder yet to go against our own will. 
But if thou dost not overcome things that are small and light : 
when wilt thou overcome greater difficulties? 
Resist thine inclination in the beginning : 
and unlearn the evil habit ; 

lest perhaps by little and little it bring thee into greater difficulty. 
[for thyself and joy for others by rightly ordering thyself; 

Oh if thou wert sensible how much peace thou wouldest procure 
methinks thou wouldest be more solicitous for thy spiritual progress. 



Chapter XII.— Of the Advantage of Adversity. 

1. It is good for us to have sometimes troubles and adversities; 
for they make a man enter into his heart : 
that he may know that he is in banishment ; 

(31) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XIII. 

nee spem suam in aliqua re mundi ponat. 

Bonum est quod patiamur quandoque contradictiones at quod 
etiamsi bene agimus et intendimus. ["male et imperfecte 

Ista saepe juvant ad humilitatem ; [de nobis sentiatur ; 

et a vana gloria nos defendunt. 

Tunc enim melius interiorem testem Deum quaerimus : 
quando foris vilipendimur ab hominibus ; 
et non bene nobis creditur. 
Ideo deberet se homo in Deo taliter firmare ; 
ut non esset ei necesse multas humanas consolationes quaerere. 

II. Quando homo bonae voluntatis tribulatur vel tentatur, 
aut malis cogitationibus affligitur : 
tunc Deum sibi magis necessarium intelligit ; 
sine quo nihil boni se posse deprehendit. 

Tunc etiam tristatur gemit et orat, 
pro miseriis quas patitur. 
Tunc taedet eum diutius vivere : : 
et mortem optat venire ; 
ut possit dissolvi et cum Christo esse. 
Tunc etiam bene advertit ; 

perfectam securitatem et plenam pacem in mundo non posse 

[constare. 



Cap. XIII.— De Tentationibus Resistendis. 

I. Quamdiu in mundo vivimus ; 
sine tribulatione et tentatione esse non possumus. 
Unde in Job scriptum est : , 

Tentatio est vita humana super terram. 

Ideo unusquisque soUicitus esse deberet circa tentationes suas et 
ne diabolus locum inveniret decipiendi ; [vigilare in orationibus : 
qui numquam dormitat, 
sed circuit quaerens quem devoret. 
Nemo tarn perfectus est et sanctus, 

( 32) 



Book I. Chap. XIII. Ok the Imitation of Christ. 



and may not place his hope in any thing of this world. 

It is good that we sometimes suffer contradictions and that men 
even when we do and intend well. ["have an evil or imper- 

These things are often helps to humility ; [feet opinion of us ; 
and defend us from vain glory. 
For then we better seek God our inward witness : 
when outwardly men hold us cheap ; 
and do not think well of us. 

Therefore should a man establish himself in such manner in God ; 
as to have no need of seeking many consolations from men. 

1 1. When a man of good will is troubled or tempted, 
or afflicted with evil thoughts : 

then he better understands what need he has of God ; 
without whom he finds he cannot do any good. 

Then also he laments sighs and prays, 
by reason of the miseries which he suffers. 
Then is he weary of living longer : 
and wishes death to come : 
that he may be dissolved and be with Christ. 
Then also he well perceives ; 
that perfect security and full peace cannot long abide in this world. 



Chapter XIII.— Of Resisting Temptation. 

I. As long as we live in this world ; 
we cannot be without tribulation and temptation. 
Whence it is written in Job : 
The life of man on earth is a temptation. 

Therefore ought every one to be solicitous about his temptations 
lest the devil find occasion to deceive him ; ["and to watch 

who never sleeps, [in prayer : 

but goeth about seeking whom he may devour. 
No man is so perfect and holy, 

( 33 ) D 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XFII. 

qui non habeat aliquando tentationes ; 
et plene eis carere non possumus. 

II. Sunt tamen tentationes homini saepe valde utiles : 
licet molestae sint et graves ; 

quia in illis homo humiliatur, 

purgatur et eruditur. [et profecerunt. 

Omnes sancti per multas tribulationes et tentationes transierunt 
Et qui tentationes sustinere nequiverunt ; 
reprobi facti sunt et defecerunt. 

III. Non est aliquis ordo tarn sanctus nee locus tarn secretus ; 
ubi non sint tentationes vel adversitates. 

Non est homo securus a tentationibus totaliter quamdiu vixerit : 

quia in nobis est unde tentamur: 

ex quo in concupiscentia nati sumus. 

Una tentatione seu tribulatione recedente alia supervenit : 

et semper aliquid ad patiendum habebimus ; 

nam bonum felicitatis nostrae perdidimus. 

IV. Multi quaerunt tentationes fugere ; 
et gravius incidunt in eas. 

Per solam fugam non possumus vincere ; 

sed per patientiam et veram humilitatem omnibus hostibus 

Qui tantummodo exterius declinat, [efficimur fortiores. 

nee radicem evellit ; 
parum proficiet. 

Immo citius ad eum tentationes redient ; 
et pejus sentiet. 

I'aulatim, 
et per patientiam cum longanimitate Deo juvante melius superabis; 
quam cum duritia et importunitate propria. 
Saepius accipe consilium in tentatione : 
et cum tentato noli duriter agere ; 
sed consolationem ingere, 
sicut tibi optares fieri. 

Initium omnium malarum tentationum inconstantia animi, 

( 34 ) 



Book I. Chap. XIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

as not sometimes to have temptations ; 
and we cannot be wholly without them. 

II. Yet temptations are often very useful to a man : 
although they be troublesome and grievous ; 

for in them a man is humbled, 

purified and instructed. [tions and have profited by them. 

All the saints have passed through many tribulations and tempta- 
And they who could not support temptations ; 
became reprobate and fell away. 

III. There is not any order so holy nor place so secret ; 
where there are not temptations and adversities. 

A man is never wholly secure from temptations as long as he lives : 

because there is within us the source of temptation : 

in that we were born in concupiscence. 

When one temptation or tribulation is over another comes on ; 

and we shall have always something to suffer ; 

because we have lost the good of our happiness. 

IV. Many seek to fly temptations ; 
and fall into them more grievously. 
By flight alone we cannot overcome ; 

but by patience and true humility we are made stronger than all 
He who only turns aside outwardly, [enemies. 

and does not pluck out the root ; 

will make but little advance. 

Nay temptations will sooner return to him ; 

and he will find himself in a worse condition. 

By degrees, [overcome them ; 

and by patience with long-suffering thou shalt by God's help better 

than by harshness and by thine own restless striving. 

In temptation often take counsel : 

and deal not roughly with one that is tempted ; 

but console him, 

as thou wouldest wish to be done to thyself 

Inconstancy of mind is the beginning of all temptations to evil, 

(35 ) 



De Imitatione Christi, Lib. I. Cap. XIII. 

et parva ad Deum confidentia : 

quia sicut navis sine gubernaculo hinc inde a fluctibus impellitur ; 

ita homo remissus et suum propositum deserens varie tentatur. 

V. Ignis probat ferrum ; 
et tentatio hominem justum. 
Nescimus saepe quid possumus ; 
sed tentatio aperit quid sumus. 

Vigilandum est tamen praecipue circa initium tentationis : 
quia tunc facilius hostis vincitur, 
si ostium mentis nullatenus intrare sinitur ; 
sed extra limen statim ut pulsaverit illi obviatur, 
Unde quidam dixit : 
Principiis obsta ; 
sero medicina paratur. 

Nam primo occurrit menti simplex cogitatio : 
deinde fortis imaginatio ; 
postea delectatio et motus pravus et assensio. 
Sicque paulatim ingreditur hostis malignus ex toto ; 
dum illi non resistitur in principio. 
Et quanto diutius ad resistendum quis torpuerit : 
tanto in se quotidie debilior fit ; 
et hostis contra eum potentior. 

VI. Quidam in principio conversionis suae graviores tentationes 
quidam autem in fine. [patiuntur ; 

Quidam vero quasi per totam vitam suam male habent : 
nonnulli satis leniter tentantur ; 

secundum divinae ordinationis sapientiam et aequitatem ; 
qui statum et merita hominum pensat ; 
et cuncta ad electorum suorum salutem praeordinat. 

Ideo non debemus desperare quum tentamur : 
sed eo ferventius Deum exorare ; 
quatenus nos in omni tribulatione dignetur adjuvare : 
qui utique secundum dictum Pauli, 
talem faciet cum tentatione proventum ; 
ut possimus sustinere. 

(36) 



Book I. Chap. XIII. Of thf. Imitation of Christ. 

and small confidence in God : 

for as a ship without a rudder is driven to and fro by the waves ; 
so the man who is remiss and gives up his resolution is many wa) s 

[tempted. 

V. As fire tries iron ; 

so temptation tries a just man. 

We often know not what we can do ; 

but temptation discovers what we are. 

However we must be watchful especially in the beginning of 
because then the enemy is more easily overcome, [temptation : 

if he is in no wise suffered to come in at the door of the mind ; 
but is met outside the threshold as soon as he has knocked. 
Whence a certain man said : 
Withstand the beginning : 
after-remedies come too late. 
For first a bare thought comes to the mind : 
then a strong imagination ; 

afterwards pleasure and evil motion and consent. 
And thus by little and little the wicked enemy gets full entrance ; 
because he is not resisted in the beginning. 
And the longer a man is sluggish in resisting : 
the weaker he daily becomes in himself; 
and the stronger the enemy becomes against him. 

VI. Some suffer greater temptations in the beginning of their 
and some in the end. [conversion ; 
And some there are who are much troubled we may say all their 
some are but lightly tempted ; [life : 
according to the wisdom and equity of the ordinance of God : 

who weighs the state and merits of men ; 

and pre-ordains all for the salvation of his elect. 

We must not therefore despair when we are tempted : 
but must pray to God with so much the more fervour ; 
that he may vouchsafe to help us in all tribulation : 
who according to the saying of Paul, 

will doubtless with the temptation make such a way of escape ; 
that we may be able to bear it. 

( 37 ) 



De Imitatione Christi, Lib. I. Cap. XIV. 

Humiliemus ergo animas nostras sub manu Dei in omni tenta- 
quia humiles spiritu salvabit et exaltabit. [tione et tribulatione ; 
In tentationibus et tribulationibus probatur homo quantum pro- 
et ibi majus meritum consistit ; [fecit : 

et virtus melius patescit. 

Nee magnum est si homo devotus sit et fervidus quum gravitatem 
sed si tempore adversitatis patienter se sustinet ; [non sentit : 

spes magni profectus erit. 

Quidam a magnis tentationibus custodiuntur, 
et in parvis quotidianis saepe vincuntur : 
ut humihati, 

numquam de se ipsis in magnis confidant ; 
qui in tarn modicis infirmantur. 



Cap. XIV.— De Temerario Judicio Vitando. 

9 

I. Ad te ipsum oculos reflecte : 
et aliorum facta caveas judicare. 

In judicando alios homo frustra laborat : 

saepius errat, 

et leviter peccat ; 

se ipsum vero judicando et discutiendo semper frutuose laborat. 

II. Sicut nobis res cordi est, 
sic de ea frequenter judicamus : 

nam verum judicium propter privatum amorem faciliter perdimus. 

Si Deus semper esset pura intentio nostri desiderii ; 

non tam faciliter turbaremur pro resistentia sensus nostri. 

Sed saepe aUquid ab intra latet, 

vel etiam ab extra concurrit ; 

quod nos etiam pariter trahit. 

Multi occultese ipsos quaerunt in rebus quas agunt; 
et nesciunt. 
Videntur etiam in bona pace stare ; 

(38 ) 



Book I. Chap. XIV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

Let us therefore humble our souls under the hand of God in all 
for he will save and exalt the humble in spirit. rtemptation and 
In temptations and tribulations the progress of a [tribulation ; 
and in them there is greater merit ; [man is tested : 
and his virtue is more apparent. 

Nor is it much if a man be devout and fervent when he feels no 
but if in the time of adversity he bears up with patience ; [trouble : 
there will be hope of great advance. 

Some are preserved from great temptations, 
and are often overcome in daily little ones : 
that being humbled, 

they may never presume of themselves in great things ; 
since they are weak in such small things. 



Chapter XIV.— Of Avoiding Rash Judgment. 

I. Turn thine eyes back upon thyself: 

and take heed thou judge not the doings of others. 
In judging others a man labours in vain : 
often errs, 
and easily sins ; 

but in judging and looking into himself he always labours with 

[fruit. 

II. We often judge of a thing, 
according as we have it at heart : 

for we easily lose true judgment through private affection. 

If God were always the one aim of our desire ; 

we should not so easily be disturljed at resistance to our opinions. 

But there is often something lying hid within, 

or occurring from without ; 

which draws us also along with it. 

Many secretly seek themselves in what they do ; 
and know it not. 
They seem also to continue in good peace ; 

( 39 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XV. 

quando res pro eorum velle fiunt et sentire. 
Si autem aliter fit quam cupiunt ; 
cito moventur et tristes fiunt. 

[ter oriuntur dissensiones inter amicos et cives ; 
III. Propter diversitatem sensuum et opinionum satis frequen- 
interreligiosos et devotes. 
Antiqua consuetudo difficulter relinquitur ; 
et ultra proprium videre nemo libenter ducitur. 
Si rationi tuae magis inniteris vel industriae, 
quam virtuti subjectivae Jesu Christi : 
raro et tarde eris homo illuminatus ; 
quia Deus vult nos sibi perfecte subjici, 
et omnem rationem per inflammatum amorem transcendere. 



Cap. XV.— De Operibus ex Caritate Factis. 

I. Pro nulla re mundi et pro nullius hominis dilectione aliquod 
sed pro utilitaie tamen indigentis, • [malum est faciendum : 

opus bonum libere aliquando intermittendum est ; 
aut etiam pro meliori mutandum. 
Hoc enim facto opus bonum non destruitur ; 
sed in melius commutatur. 
Sine caritate opus externum nihil prodest : 

quidquid autem ex caritate agitur quantumcumque etiam parvum 
totum fructuosum efificitur. [sit et despectum ; 

Magis siquidem Deus pensat ex quanto quis agit ; 
quam opus quod facit. 
Multum facit ; 
qui multum diligit. 
Multum facit ; 
qui rem bene facit. 
Bene facit ; 
qui communitati magis quam suae voluntati servit. 



( 40 ) 



Book I. Chap. XV. Of the Imitation ok Chkist. 

when aught is done according to their will and judgment. 
But if it be done otherwise than they wish ; 
they are soon moved and become sad. 

[of dissensions as among friends and citizens : 
III. Difference of thoughts and opinions is too often the source 
so amongst religious and devout persons. 
An old habit is with difficulty relinquished ; 
and no man is led willingly further than he himself sees. 
If thou reliest more upon thine own reason or industry, 
than upon the virtue that subjects to Jesus Christ : 
thou wilt seldom and slowly be an enlightened man ; 
for God wills us to be perfectly subject to himself, 
and to transcend all reason by the ardour of our love. 



Chapter XV.— Of Works done out of Charity. 

I. No evil should be done either for any thing in the world or for 
but for the profit of one that stands in need, [the love of any man : 
a good work is sometimes freely to be given up for a while ; 
or rather to be changed for a better. 
For this is not the undoing of a good work ; 
but the exchanging it for a better. 
Without charity the outward work profits nothing : 
but whatever is done through charity be it never so little and 
all becomes fruitful. [contemptible ; 

For God weighs more with how much love a man works ; 
than how much he does. 
He does much ; 
who loves much. 
He does much ; 
who does well what he does. 
He does well ; 
who serves rather the common weal than his own will. 



(41 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XVI. 

II. Saepe videtur esse caritas, 
et est magis carnalitas : 
quia naturalis inclinatio, 
propria voluntas, 
spes retributionis, 
affectus commoditatis, 
rare abesse volant. 

Qui veram et perfectam caritatem habet in nulla re se ipsum 
sed Dei solummodo gloriam in omnibus fieri desiderat. [quaerit ; 

Nulli etiam invidet, 
quia nullum privatum gaudium amat : 
nee in se ipso vult gaudere ; 
sed in Deo super omnia bona optat beatificari. 

Nemini aliquid boni attribuit : 
sed totaliter ad Deum refert, 
a quo fontaliter omnia procedunt ; 
in quo finaliter omnes sancti fruibiliter requiescunt. 

O qui scintillam haberet verae caritatis ; 
profecto omnia terrena sentiret plena fore vanitatis. 



Cap. XVI.— De Sufferentia Defectuum Aliorum. 

I. Quae homo in se vel in aliis emendare non valet ; 
debet patienter sustinere, 
donee Deus aliter ordinet. 

Cogita quia sic forte melius est pro tua probatione et patientia ; 
sine qua non sunt multum ponderanda merita nostra. 
Debes tamen pro talibus impedimentis supplicare ; 
ut Deus tibi dignetur subvenire, 
et possis benigne portare. 

Si quis semel aut bis admonitus non acquiescit ; 
noli cum eo contendere, 
sed totum Deo committe : 

(42 ) 



Book I. Chap. XVI. Of thi-: Imitation of Christ. 

II. That seems often to be charity, 
which is rather yearning of the flesh ; 
because natural inclination, 
our own self-will, 
hope of reward, 
love of our own ease, 
will seldom be wanting-. 

He that has true and perfect charity seeks himself in nothing : 
but desires only the glory of God to be wrought in all things. 

He envies no man, 
because he loves no private joy : 
nor does he desire to rejoice in himself; 
but above all good things to be made happy in God. 

He attributes nothing of good to any man : 
but refers it wholly to God, 

from whom all things proceed as from their fount ; 
in whom as their last end all the saints rest with joy. 

Oh he that had but one spari-: of true charity : 
would doubtless perceive that all earthly things are full of vanity. 



Chapter XVI.— Of Bearing the Defects of Others. 

I. What a man cannot amend in himself or others ; 
he should bear with patience, 
till God ordains otherwise. 

Think that perhaps it is better so for thy trial and patience ; 
without which our merits are of little worth. 

Thou shouldest nevertheless under such hindrances earnestly 
that God may vouchsafe to help thee, [pray ; 

and that thou mayest bear them in a kindly spirit. 

If any one after being once or twice admonished does not give 
contend not with him, [in ; 

but leave all to God : 

( 43 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XVI. 

lit fiat voluntas ejus et honor in omnibus servis suis ; 
qui scit bene mala in bonum convertere. 

[cumque infirmitates ; 

II. Stude patiens esse in tolerando aliorum defectus et quales- 
quia et tu multa habes quae ab aliis oportet tolerari. 

Si non potes te talem facere qualem vis, 

quomodo poteris alium ad tuum habere beneplacitum ? 

Libenter habemus alios perfectos ; 
et tamen proprios non emendamus defectus. 
Volumus quod alii stricte corrigantur; 
et ipsi corrigi nolumus. 
Displicet larga aliorum licentia ; 
et tamen nobis nolumus negari quod petimus. 
Alios restringi per statuta volumus ; 
et ipsi nullatenus patimur amplius cohiberi. 

Sic ergo patet ; 
quam raro proximum sicut nos ipsos pensamus. 

III. Si essent omnes perfecti : 

quid tunc haberemus ab aliis pro Deo pati? 

Nunc autem Deus sic ordinavit, 

ut discamus alter alterius onera portare : 

quia nemo sine defectu, 

nemo sine onere ; 

nemo sibi sufficiens, 

nemo sibi satis sapiens : 

sed oportet nos invicem portare, 

invicem consolari ; 

pariter adjuvare, 

instruere et admonere. 

Quantae autem virtutis quisque fuerit, 
melius patet occasione adversitatis. 
Occasiones namque hominem fragilem non faciunt; 
sed qualis sit, 
ostendunt. 



( 44 ) 



Book I. Chap. XVI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

that his will may be done and that he may be honoured in all his 
who knows well how to bring good out of evil. [servants ; 

[ties of others of what kind soever : 

II. Study to be patient in bearing with the defects and infirmi- 
because thou also hast many things which others must bear withal. 
If thou canst not make thyself such as thou wouldest be, 

how canst thou have another to thy liking ? 

We would willingly have others perfect ; 
and yet we mend not our own defects. 
We would have others strictly corrected ; 
but will not be corrected ourselves. 
The large liberty of others displeases us ; 
and yet we would not be denied what we ask. 
We will that others should be bound by laws ; 
and we suffer not ourselves to be in any wise restrained. 

Thus it is evident ; 
how seldom we weigh our neighbour in the same balance with 

[ourselves. 

III. If all were perfect : 

what should we then have to suffer from others for the sake of God ? 

But now God has so ordained, 

that we may learn to bear one another's burthens : 

for there is no man without defect, 

no man without his burthen ; 

no man sufficient for himself, 

no man wise enough for himself: 

but we must support one another, 

comfort one another ; 

assist, 

instruct and admonish. 

But how great is the virtue of each, 
best appears in occasion of opposition. 
For occasions do not make a man frail ; 
but what he is, 
they show. 



(45 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XVII. 



Cap. X\^II.— De Monastica Vita. 

I. Oportet quod discas te ipsiim in multis frangere ; 
si vis pacem et concordiam cum aliis tenere. 

Non est parvum in monasteriis vel in congregatione lialjitare, 

et inibi sine querela conversari ; 

et usque ad mortem fidelis perseverare. 

Beatus qui ibidem bene vixerit : 

et feliciter consummaverit. 

Si vis debite stare et proficere ; 
teneas te tamquam exsulem peregrinum super terram. 
Oportet te stultum fieri propter Christum ; 
si vis religiosam ducere vitam. 
Habitus et tonsura modicum confert ; 

sed mutatio morum et integra mortificatio passionum verum 

[faciunt religiosum. 

II. Qui aliud quaerit quam pure Deum, 
et animae suae salutem ; 

non inveniet nisi tribulationem et dolorem. 
Non potest etiam diu stare pacificus ; 
qui non nititur esse minimus, 
et omnibus subjectus. 

Ad serviendum venisti ; 
non ad regendum. 

Ad patiendum et laborandum scias te vocatum ; 
non ad otiandum vel fabulandum. 
Hie ergo probantur homines ; 
sicut aurum in fornace. 
Hie nemo potest stare ; 
nisi ex toto corde se voluerit propter Deum humiliare. 



(46) 



Book I. Chap. XVII. Of the Imitation of Chkist. 



Chapter XVII.— Of the Monastic Life. 

I. Thou must learn to break thine own will in many things; 
if thou wilt keep peace and concord with others. 

It is no small matter to dwell in monasteries or in a congregation, 

and to live therein without reproof ; 

and to persevere faithful till death. 

Blessed is he who has lived well in that same place ; 

and made a happy end. 

If thou wilt stand as thou oughtest and make progress ; 
look upon thyself as a banished man a stranger upon earth. 
Thou must be content to become a fool for Christ ; 
if thou wouldest lead a religious life. 
The habit and the tonsure contribute little ; 

it is a change of manners and an entire mortification of the pas- 

[sions that make a true religious. 

II. He who seeks any other thing than God only, 
and the salvation of his soul ; 

will find nothing but trouble and sorrow. 
He cannot even long remain in peace ; 
who does not strive to be the least, 
and to be subject to all. 

Thou earnest hither to serve ; 
not to rule. 

Know that thou art called to suffer and to labour ; 
not to be idle and talkative. 
Here then men are tried ; 
as gold in the furnace. 
Here no man can stand ; 
unless he be willing with all his heart to humble himself for God. 



( 47 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XVIII. 



Cap. XVIII. -De Exemplis Sanctorum Patrum. 

I. Intuere sanctorum patrum vivida exempla, 
in quibus vera perfectio refulsit et religio ; 
et videbis quam modicum sit, 
et paene nihil quod nos agimus. 
Heu quid est vita nostra : 
si illis fuerit comparata .? 

Sancti et amici Christi, 
Domino servierunt in fame et siti, 
in frigore et nuditate : 
in labore et fatigatione, 
in vigiliis et jejuniis, 

in orationibus et meditationibus Sanctis ; 
in persecutionibus et opprobriis multis. 
O quam multas et graves tribulationes passi sunt, 
apostoli, 
martyres, 

confessores virgines ; 
et reliqui omnes, 

qui Christi vestigia voluerunt sequi. 
Nam animas suas in hoc mundo oderunt ; 
ut in aeternam vitam eas possiderent. 

O quam strictam et abdicatam vitam sancti patres in eremo 
quam longas et graves tentationes pertulerunt : [duxerunt ; 

quam frequenter ab inimico vexati sunt, 
quam crebras et fervidas orationes Deo obtulerunt ; 
quam rigidas abstinentias peregerunt. [habuerunt : 

Guam magnum zelum et fervorem ad spiritualem profectum 
quam forte bellum adversus edomationem vitiorum gesserunt ; 
quam puram et rectam intentionem ad Deum tenuerunt. 

Per diem laborabant, 
et noctibus orationi diutinae vacabant ; 

( 48 ) 



Book T. Chap. XVIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter XVIII.— Of the Examples of the Holy Fathers 

I. Look upon the lively examples of the holy fathers, 
in whom true perfection and religion were a shining light ; 
and thou wilt see how little, 
and almost nothing that is which we do. 
Alas what is our life : 
if compared to theirs ? 

The saints and friends of Christ, 
served the Lord in hunger and thirst, 
in cold and nakedness : 
in labour and weariness, 
in watchings and fastings, 
in prayers and holy meditations ; 
in persecutions and many reproaches. 
Oh how many and grievous tribulations have they suffered, 
apostles, 
martyrs, 

confessors virgins ; 
and all the rest, 

who made up their minds to follow the footsteps of Christ. 
For they hated their lives in this world : 
that they might possess them for life eternal. 

Oh how strict and detached a life the holy fathers led in the 
what long and grievous temptations they endured : [desert • 

how often were they molested by the enemy, 
what frequent and fervent prayers they offered to God ; 
what rigorous fasts they observed. 

What great zeal and fervour had they for their spiritual progress : 
how strong a war they waged for the overcoming their vices ; 
how pure and upright was their intention towards God. 

They laboured all the day, 
and in the night they gave themselves to long prayers ; 

( 49 ) B 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib, I. Cap. XVI 11. 

quamquam laborando ab oratione mentali minime cessarent. 

Omne tempus utiliter expendebant : 

omnis hora ad vacandum Deo brevis videbatur ; 

et prae magna dulcedine contemplationis, 

etiam oblivioni tradebatur necessitas corporalis lefectionis. 

Omnibus divitiis, 
dignitatibus, 

honoribus amicis et cognatis renunciabant ; 
nil de mundo habere cupiebant : 
vix necessaria vitae sumebant ; 
corpori servire etiam in necessitate dolebant. 
Pauperes igitur erant rebus terrenis ; 
sed divites valde in gratia et virtutibus foris egebant ; 
sed intus gratia et consolatione divina reficiebantur. 

Mundo erant alieni ; 
sed Deo proximi ac familiares amici. 
Sibi ipsis videbantur tamquam nihili, 
et huic mundo despecti ; 
sed erant in oculis Dei pretiosi et dilecti. 
In vera humilitate stabant ; 
in simplici obedientia vivebant. 
In caritate et patientia ambulabant : 
et ideo quotidie in spiritu proficiebant ; 
et magnam apud Deum gratiam obtinebant. 

Dati sunt in exemplum omnibus religiosis : 
et plus provocare nos debent ad bene proficiendum ; 
quam tepidorum numerus ad relaxandum. 

II. O quantus fervor omnium religiosorum, 
in principio suae sanctae institutionis fuit. 
O quanta devotio orationis, 
quanta aemulatio virtutis : 
quam magna disciplina viguit ; 

quanta reverentia et obedientia sub regula magistri in omnibus 
Testantur adhuc vestigia derelicta, [effloruit. 

quod vere viri sancti et perfecti fuerunt ; 

(50 ) 



Book I. Chap. XVIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

though even whilst they were at work they ceased not from mental 

They spent all their time profitably : [prayer. 

every hour seemed short which they gave to God ; 

and through the great sweetness of contemplation, 

they forgot even the necessity of their bodily refreshment. 

All riches, 
dignities, 

honours friends and kindred they renounced; 
they desired to have nothing of this world : 
they scarcely took the necessaries of life ; 
attention to the body even when needful was irksome to them. 
They were poor therefore as to earthly things ; 
but very rich in grace and virtues outwardly they lacked ; 
but inwardly they were refreshed with grace and divme consolation. 

They were strangers to the world ; 
but near to God and his familiar friends. 
They seemed to themselves as naught, 
and were despised by this world ; 
but were precious and beloved in the eyes of God. 
They stood in true humility ; 
they lived in simple obedience. 
They walked in charity and patience : 
and therefore they daily advanced in spirit ; 
and obtained great favour with God. 

They were given as an example for all religious : 
and ought more to excite us to make good progress ; 
than should the number of the lukewarm make us grow slack. 

II. Oh how great was the fervour of all religious, 
in the beginning of their holy institution. 
Oh how great their devotion in prayer, 
how great their zeal for virtue : 
what great discipline was in force amongst them ; 
what great reverence and obedience in all flourished under the rule 
Their footsteps remaining still bear witness, [of a superior, 

that they were right holy and perfect men ; 

( SI ) 



De Imitations Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XIX 

qui tarn strenue militantes mundum suppeditaverunt. 

Jam magnus putatur, 
si quis transgressor non fuerit : 

si quis quod accepit cum patientia tolerare potuerit. 
O teporis et negligentiae status nostri : 
quod tarn cito declinamus a pristine fervore ; 
et jam taedet vivere prae lassitudine et tepore. 

Utinam in te penitus non dormitet profectus virtutum ; 
qui multa saepius exempla vidisti devotorum. 



Cap. XIX.— De Exercitiis Boni Religiosi. 

I. Vita boni religiosi omnibus virtutibus poUere debet ; 
ut sit talis interius. 
qualis videtur hominibus exterius. 

Et merito multo plus debet esse intus quam quod cernitur foris : 
quia inspector noster est Deus : 

quem summopere revereri debemus ubicumque fuerimus ; 
et tamquam angeli in conspectu ejus mundi incedere. 

Omni die renovare debemus propositum nostrum, 
et ad fervorem nos excitare ; 
quasi hodie primum ad conversionem venissemus, 
atque dicere. 

Adjuva me Domine Deus in bono proposito et sancto servitio tuo 
et da mihi nunc hodie perfecte incipere ; 
quia nihil est quod hactenus feci. 

Secundum propositum nostrum cursus profectus nostri ; 
et multa diligentia opus est bene proficere volenti. 

Quodsi fortiter proponens saepe deficit : 
quid ille qui rare, 



aut minus fixealiquid proponit? 



( 52 ) 



Book I. ChxVp. XIX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

who waging war so stoutl\' trod the world under their feet. 

Now he is thought great, 
who is not a transgressor; 

who can with patience endure what he has undertaken. 
Oh the hikewarmness and negligence of our state : 
that we so quickly fall away from our former fervour ; 
and are now through sloth and listlessness even weary of living. 

Would that advancement in virtues be not wholly asleep in thee ; 
who hast often seen many examples of the devout. 



Chapter XIX.— Of the Exercises of a Good Religious. 

I. The life of a good religious ought to be eminent in all virtues ; 
so that he may be such inwardly, 
as he appears to men outwardly. 

And with good reason ought he to be much more within than he 
because he who beholds us is God : [appears without ; 

of whom we ought exceedingly to stand in awe wherever we are ; 
and to walk pure as angels in his sight. 

We ought every day to renew our resolution, 
and to rouse ourselves to fervour ; 
as if it were the first day of our conversion, 
saying. 

Help me O Lord God in my good resolution and in thy holy ser- 
and give me grace this very day really and truly to begin ; [vice : 
for what I have hitherto done is nothing. 

[ment ; 

According as our resolution is will be the course of our advance- 
and he has need of much diligence who would advance much. 

But if he who makes a strong resolution often fails : 
what will he do who seldom, 
or but languidly resolves ? 

( S3 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XIX. 

Variis tamen modis contingit desertio propositi nostri ; 

et levis omissio exercitiorum vix sine aliquo dispendio transit. 

Justorum propositum in gratia Dei potius quam in propria sapientia 

in quo et semper contidunt, [pendet ; 

quidquid arripiunt. 

Nam homo proponit, 

sed Deus disponit ; 

nee est in homine via ejus. 

Si pietatis causa aut fraternae utilitatis proposito, 
quandoque consuetum omittitur exercitium ; 
facile postea poterit recuperari. 

Si autem taedio animi aut negligentia faciliter relinquitur ; 
satis culpabile est, 
et nocivum sentietur. 

Conemur quantum possumus ; 
adhuc leviter deficiemus in multis. 
Semper tamen aliquid certi proponendum est ; 
et contra ilia praecipue quae amplius nos impediunt. 

II. Exteriora nostra et interiora pariter nobis scrutanda sunt et 
quia utraque expediunt ad profectum. [ordinanda; 

Si non continue te vales colligere : 
saltem interdum et ad minus semel in die; 
mane videlicet aut vespere. 
Mane propone, 
vespere discute mores tuos, 
qualis hodie fuisti in verbo, 
opere et cogitatione : 
quia in his saepius forfitan Deum offendisti et proximum. 

Accinge te sicut vir contra diabolicas nequitias ; 
frena gulam, 

et omnem carnis inclinationcm facilius frenabis. 
Numquam sis ex toto otiosus ; 
sed aut legens aut scribens, 

aut orans aut meditans aut aliquid utilitatis pro communi laborans. 
Corporalia tamen exercitia discrete sunt agenda ; 
nee omnibus aequaliter assumenda. 

(54) 



Book I. Chap. XIX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

The falling off from our resolution happens in divers ways ; [loss, 
and a light omission in our exercises seldom passes without some 
The resolution of the just depends rather on the grace of God than 
and in him they always put their trust, [on their own wisdom ; 

whatever they take in hand. 
For man proposes, 
but God disposes ; 
nor is the way of man in himself 

If for compassion or with a design to the profit of our brother, 
we sometimes omit an accustomed exercise ; 
it may afterwards be easily recovered. 

But if through a loathing of mind or negligence it be lightly let 
it is no small fault, [alone : 

and will prove hurtful. 

Though we do what we can ; 
we shall still be apt to fail in many things. 
Yet we must always purpose something definite; 
and in particular against those things which hinder us most. 

II. We must examine and order well what is without and within ; 
because both conduce to our advancement. 

If thou canst not continually recollect thyself: 
do it sometimes and at least once a day ; 
that is at morning or evening. 
In the morning resolve, 
in the evening examine thy doings, 
how thou hast behaved this day in word, 

work or thought : [neighbour, 

because in these perhaps thou hast often offended God and thy 

Gird thee like a man to resist the evil attacks of the devil ; 
bridle gluttony, 

and thou wilt the more easily bridle all inclinations of the flesh. 
Be never altogether idle ; 
but be either reading or writing, 

or praying or meditating or labouring at something for the 
Yet in bodily exercises a discretion is to be used ; [community, 

nor are they to be undertaken by all alike. 

( 55 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XIX, 

Quae communia non sunt, 
lion sunt foris ostendenda ; 
nam in secreto tutius exercentur privata. 
Cavendum tamen ne piger sis ad communia, 
et ad singularia promptior : 

sed expletis integre et fideliter debitis et injunctis ; 
si jam ultra vacat redde te tibi, 
prout devotio tua desiderat. 

Non possunt omnes habere unum exercitium ; 
sed aliud isti aliud illi magis deservit. 

Etiam pro temporis congruentia diversa placent exercitia ; 
quia alia in festis, 

alia in feriatis magis sapiunt diebus. 
Aliis indigemus tempore tentationis ; 
et aliis tempore pacis et quietis. 
Alia quum tristamur libet cogitare ; 
et alia quum laeti in Domino fuerimus. 

Circa principalia festa renovanda sunt bona exercitia ; 
et sanctorum sufifragia ferventius imploranda. 

De festo in festum proponere debemus quasi tunc de hoc saeculo 
et ad aeternum festum perventuri. [migraturi ; 

Ideoque sollicite nos praeparare debemus in devotis temporibus, 
et devotius conversari : 

atque omnem observantiam strictius custodire, 
tamquam in brevi praemium laboris nostri a Deo percepturi. 

Et si dilatum fuerit : 
credamus nos minus bene praeparatos atque indignos tantae adhuc 
[gloriae quae revelabitur in nobis tempore praefinito ; 
et studeamus nos melius ad exitum praeparare. 
Beatus servus ait evangelista Lucas ; 
quern quum venerit dominus invenerit vigilantem. 
Amen dico vobis ; 
super omnia bona sua constituet euni. 



(56) 



Book 1. Chap. XIX. Of thk Imitation of Christ. 

Those which are not common lo all, 
are not to be done in public ; 

for such as are personal are more safely done in secret. 
But take care that thou be not slack in common exercises, 
and more forward in those of thine own choice : 
but having fully and faithfully performed what thou art bound to do 
if thou hast any time remaining give thyself to thyselfJand wliat is 
according as thy devotion shall incline thee. Lenjoined thee ; 

AH cannot have the same exercise ; 
this is more proper for one and that for another. 
Moreover according to the diversity of times divers exercises are 
for some relish better on festival days, [more pleasing ; 

others on common days. 
We need one kind in time of temptation ; 
and another in time of peace and rest. 
Some things we willingly think about when we are sad ; 
others when we are joyful in the Lord. 

About the principal festivals we must renew our good exercises ; 
and more fervently implore the prayers of the saints. 
As feast by feast returns we should make our resolution as if we were 
and to go to the everlasting feast, [then to depart out of this world ; 
Therefore we ought carefully to prepare ourselves at holy tides, 
and live more devoutly : 
and keep all our rule more strictly, 
as shortly about to receive the reward of our labours from God. 

And if it be deferred : 
let us Ijelieve that we are not well prepared and as yet unworthy of 

[the great glorywhich shall be revealed in us at the appointed time; 
and let us endeavour to prepare ourselves better for our departure. 
Blessed is that servant saith the Evangelist Luke ; 
whom his Lord when he shall come shall find watching. 
Amen I say to you ; 
he shall set him over all his goods. 



(57) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XX. 



Cap. XX.— De Amore Solitudinis et Silentii. 

I. Quaere aptum tempus vacandi tibi ; 
et de beneficiis Dei frequenter cogita. 
Relinque curiosa : 

tales perlege materias ; 

quae compunctionem magis praestant, 

quam occupationem. 

Si te subtraxeris a superfluis locutionibus, 
et otiosis circuitionibus, 

nee non a novitatibus et rumoribus audiendis ; 
invenies tempus sufficiens et aptum pro bonis meditationibus 

[insistendis. 

Maximi sanctorum humana consortia ubi poterant vitabant ; 
et Deo in secrete servire eligebant. 

Dixit quidam : 
Quoties inter homines fui ; 
minor homo redii. 
Hoc saepius experimur ; 
quando diu confabulamur. 
Facilius est omnino tacere ; 
quam verbo non excedere. 
FaciHus est domi latere : 
quam foris se posse sufficienter custodire. 

Qui igitur intendit ad interiora et spiritualia pervenire ; 
oportet eum cum Jesu a turba declinare. 

II. Nemo secure apparet; 
nisi qui libenter latet. 
Nemo secure loquitur; 

nisi qui libenter tacet. 
Nemo secure praeest; 
nisi qui hbenter subest. 
Nemo secure praecipit ; 

( 58) 



Book I. Chap. XX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter XX.— Of the Love of Solitude and Silence. 

I. vSeek a proper time to retire into thyself; 
and often think over the benefits of God. 

Let alone curious questions : 

read such matters ; 

as may rather move thee to compunction, 

than give thee occupation. 

If thou wilt withdraw thyself from superfluous talk, 
and idle visits, 

as also from giving ear to news and reports ; 

thou wilt find time sufficient and proper to employ thyself in good 

[meditations. 

The greatest of the saints avoided the company of men as much 
and rather chose to serve God in secret. [as they could ; 

One said : 
As often as I have been amongst men ; 
I have returned less a man. 
This we often experience ; 
when we talk long. 
It is easier to be altogether silent ; 
than not to speak a word too much. 
It is easier to keep retired at home ; 
than to be able to be sufficiently upon our guard abroad. 

Whosoever therefore strives to attain to inward and spiritual 
must with Jesus go aside from the crowd. [things ; 

II. No man safely goes abroad ; 
but he who willingly lies hid at home. 
No man speaks safely ; 

but he who willingly holds his peace. 

No man rules safely ; 

but he who is willingly ruled. 

No man safely commands ; 

(59) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XX. 

nisi qui bene obedire didicit. 

Nemo secure gaudet ; 

nisi bonae conscientiae in se testimonium habeat. 

Semper tamen sanctorum securitas plena timoris Dei exstitit : 
nee eo minus soUiciti et humiles in se fuerunt ; 
vjuia magnis virtutibus et gratia emicuerunt. 
Pravorum autem securitas ex superbia et praesumpiione oritur ; 
et in fine in deceptionem sui ipsius vertitur. 

Numquam promittas tibi securitatem in hac vita ; 
quamvis bonus videaris coenobita, 
aut devotus eremita. 

Saepe meliores in aestimatione hominum ; 
gravius periclitati sunt propter suam nimiam confidentiam. 
Unde multis utilius est, 
ut non penitus tentationibus careant ; 
sed saepius impugnentur : 
ne nimium securi sint, 
ne forte in superbiam eleventur ; 
ne etiam ad exteriores consolationes licentius declinent. 

III. O qui numquam transitoriam laetitiam quaereret : 
qui numquam cum mundo se occuparet ; 
quam bonam conscientiam servaret. 
O qui omnem vanam sollicitudinem amputaret, 
et dumtaxat salutaria ac divina cogitaret, 
et totam spem suam in Deo constitueret ; 
quam magnam pacem et quietem possideret. 

Nemo dignus est caelesti consolatione ; 
nisi diligenter se exercuerit in sancta compunciione. 
Si vis corde tenus compungi : 
intra cubile tuum et exclude tumultus mundi; 
sicut scriptum est. 
In cubilibus vestris compungimini. 

In cella invenies ; 
quod deforis saepius amittes. 

( 60) 



Book I. Chap. XX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

but he who has learnt well to obey. 

No man safely rejoices ; 

unless he have within him the testimony of a good conscience. 

Yet the security of the saints was always full of the fear of God : 
Neither were they less careful or humble in themselves ; 
because they shone forth with great virtues and grace. 
But the security of the wicked arises from pride and haughtiness ; 
and in the end turns to their own deception. 

Never promise thyself security in this life ; 
though thou seemest to be a good religious, 
or a devout hermit. 

Oftentimes they who were more highly esteemed by men ; 
have been in greater danger by reason of their too great confidence. 
So that for many it is better, 
not to be altogether free from temptations ; 
but to be often assaulted : 
lest they be too secure, 
lest perhaps they be lifted up with pride ; 
lest they more wantonly fall back upon outward consolations. 

III. Oh if a man would never seek after transitory joy : 
nor ever busy himself with the world ; 
how good a conscience would he preserve. 
Oh if a man would cut away all vain care, 
and think only of the things of God and his salvation, 
and place his whole hope in God ; 
what great peace and quiet would he possess. 

No man is worthy of heavenly consolation ; 
who has not diligently exercised himself in holy compunction. 
If thou wouldest find compunction in thy very heart : 
enter into thy chamber and shut out the tumults of the world; 
as it is written. 
Be smitten with compunction in your cliamber. 

Thou wilt find in thy cell : 
what thou wilt often lose abroad. 

(6i ) 



De Imitatione Christi, Lib. I. Cap. XX. 

Cella continuata dulcescit ; 

et male custodita taedium generat. 

Si in principio conversionis tuae bene eamincolueris et custodieris ; 

erit tibi postea dilecta arnica et gratissimum solatium. 

In silentio et quiete proficit anima devota et discit abscondita 

ibi invenit fluenta lacrimarum, [scripturarum ; 

quibus singulis noctibus se lavet et mundet : 

ut conditori suo tanto familiarior fiat : 

quanto longius ab omni saeculari tumultu degit. 

Qui ergo se abstrahit a notis et amicis ; 

approximabit illi Deus cum angelis Sanctis. 

IV. Melius est latere, 
et sui curam agere ; 
quam se neglecto signa facere. 
Laudabile est homini religiose, 
raro foras ire, 
fugere videri ; 
nolle etiam homines videre. 

Quid vis videre : 
quod non licet habere 1 
Transit mundus et concupiscentia ejus. 
Trahunt desideria sensualitatis ad spatiandum : 
sed quum hora transient quid nisi gravitatem conscientiae et cordis 
Laetus exitus tristem saepe reditum parit ; [dispersionem reportas ? 
et laeta vigilia serotina triste mane facit. 
Sic omne carnale gaudium blande intrat; 
sed in fine mordet et perimit. 

Quid potes alibi videre, 
quod hie non vides ? 

Ecce caelum et terra et omnia elementa ; 
nam ex istis omnia sunt facta. 

Quid potes alicubi videre : 
quod diu potest sub sole permanere ? 
Credis te forsitan satiari ; 
sed non poteris pertingere. 
Si cuncta videres praesentia : 

(, 62 ) 



Book I. Chap. XX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

Thy cell if thou continue in it grows sweet ; 

but if thou keep not to it it becomes wearisome. [keep thy cell ; 

If in the beginning of thy conversion thou didst well inhabit and 

it will be to thee ever after a dear friend and a most welcome solace. 

In silence and quiet the devout soul goes forward and learns the 

there she finds floods of tears, [hidden things of the Scriptures ; 

with which she may wash and cleanse herself every night : 

that so she may become the more familiar with her creator : 

the further she lives from all worldly tumult. 

For whoso withdraws himself from his acquaintance and friends ; 

to him will God with the holy angels draw nigh. 

IV. It is better for a man to lie hid, 
and take care of himself ; 
than neglecting himself to work miracles. 
It is praiseworthy for a religious man, 
to go seldom abroad, 
to shun being seen ; 
and not even to desire to see men. rheart.^ 

Why dost thou wish to see : pation of 

what it is not permitted thee to have ? and dissi- 

The world passeth away and the desire of it. conscience 

The desires of sense draw thee to walk abroad : lupon thy 

but when the hour is past what dost thou bring back save a weight 
A joyous going abroad often brings forth a mournful return ; 
and a late watch spent merrily makes a sad morning. 
So all carnal joy enters pleasantly ; 
but in the end it bites and kills. 

What canst thou see elsewhere, 
which thou seest not here ? 

Behold the heavens and the earth and all the elements : 
for of these are all things made. 

What canst thou see anywhere : 
which can continue long under the sun ? 
Thou thinkest perhaps to be satisfied ; 
but thou canst not attain to it. 
If thou couldest see all things at once before thee : 

(63) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXI. 

quid esset nisi visio vana ? 

Leva oculos tuos ad Deum in e.xcelsis ; 
et ora pro peccatis tuis et negligentiis. 
Dimitte vana vanis ; 

tu autem intende illis quae tibi praecepit Deus. 
Claude super te ostium tuum ; 
et voca ad te Jesum dilectum tuum, 
Mane cum eo in cella ; 
quia non invenies alibi tantam pacem. 
Si non exisses nee quidquam de rumoribus audisses ; 
melius in bona pace permansisses. 
Ex quo nova delectat aliquando audire ; 
oportet te exinde turbationem cordis tolerare. 



Cap. XXL— De Compunctione Cordis. 

L Si vis aliquid proficere, 
conserva te in timore Dei : 
et noli esse nimis liber. 

sed sub disciplina cohibe omnes sensus tuos; 
nee ineptae te tradas laetitiae. 
Da te ad cordis compunctionem ; 
et invenies devotionem. 
Compunctio multa bona aperit : 
quae dissolutio cito perdere consuevit. 

Mirum est, 
quod homo potest umquam perfecte in hac vita laetari ; [pensat. 
qui suum exsilium et tarn multa pericula animae suae considerat et 
Propter levitatem cordis et negligentiam defectuum nostrorum 
sed saepe vane ridemus ; [non sentimus animae nostrae dolores ; 
quando merito flere deberemus. 
Non est vera libertas, 

(64) 



Book I. Chap. XXI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

what would it be but an empty show ? 

Lift up thine eyes to God on high ; 
and pray for thy sins and negligences. 
Leave vain things to the vain : 

but mind thou the things which God has commanded thee. 
Shut thy door upon thee ; 
and call to thee Jesus thy beloved, 
Stay with him in thy cell ; 
for nowhere else wilt thou find so great peace. 
If thou hadst not gone abroad and heard aught that was said ; 
thou wouldest have kept thyself better in good peace. 
But since thou takest pleasure sometimes in hearing news ; 
thou must thence suffer disturbance of heart. 



Chapter XXL— Of Compunction of Heart. 

I. If thou wilt make any progress, 
keep thyself in the fear of God : 
and be not too free, 

but restrain all thy senses under discipline ; 
nor give thyself up to foolish mirth. 
Give thyself to compunction of heart ; 
and thou shalt find devotion. 
Compunction opens the way to much good ; 
which dissipation of mind is wont quickly to destroy. 

It is wonderful, 
that any man can wholly rejoice in this life ; [of his soul. 

who considers and weighs his banishment and the many dangers 
Through levity of heart and the little thought we have of our de- 
but often vainly laugh ; ffects we feel not the 
when in all reason we ought to weep. [sorrows of our soul ; 
There is no true liberty, 

(6s ) F 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I, Cap. XXI 

nee bona laetitia ; 

nisi in timore Dei cum bona conscientia. 

Felix qui abjicere potest omne impedimentum distractionis ; 
et ad unionem se recolligere sanctae compunctionis. 
Felix qui a se abdicat ; 
quidquid conscientiam suam maculare potest vel gravare. 

II. Certa viriliter ; 
consuetude consuetudine vincilur. 

Si tu scis homines dimittere ; 
ipsi bene te dimittent tua facta facere. 
Non attrahas tibi res aliorum ; 
nee te implices causis majorum. 
Habeas semper oculum super te primum ; 
et admoneas te ipsum specialiter prae omnibus tibi dilectis. 

Si non habes favorem hominum noli ex hoc tristari : 
sed hoc sit tibi grave, 

quia non habes te satis bene et circumspecte ; 
sicut deceret Dei servum et devotum religiosum conversari. 
Utilius est saepe et securius quod homo non habeat multas con- 
secundum carnem praecipue. [solationes in hac vita ; 

Tamen quod divinas non habemus aut rarius sentimus, 
nos in culpa sumus : 

quia compunctionem cordis non quaerimus ; 
nee vanas et externas omnino abjicimus. 

Cognosce te indignum divina consolatione ; 
sed magis dignum multa tribulatione. 
Quando homo est perfecte compunctus ; 
tunc gravis et amarus est ci totus mundus. 

III. Bonus homo sufficientem invenit materiam dolendi et 
Sive enim se considerat sive de proximo pensat ; [flendi. 
scit quia nemo sine tribulatione hie vivit. 

Et quanto strictius sese considerat ; 

( 66 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXI. Ok the Imitation of Christ. 

nor good joy ; 

but in the fear of God with a good conscience. 

Happy is he who can cast away all hindrance from distraction ; 
and betake himself once more to the oneness of holy compunction. 
Happy is he who puts away from himself; 
all that may defile or burden his conscience. 

II. Strive manfully ; 
habit is overcome by habit. 

If thou canst let men alone ; 
they will let thee alone to do what thou hast to do. 
Busy not thyself with matters of other men ; 
nor entangle thyself with the affairs of the great. 
Have always an eye upon thyself in the first place ; 
and be sure to admonish thyself rather than all thy friends. 



If thou hast not ihe favour of men be not grieved thereat : 
but let this be thy sorrow, 

that thou dost not carry thyself so well and so circumspectly ; 
as it would become a servant of God and a devout religious to live. 
It is oftentimes more profitable and more secure for a man not to 
especially according to the flesh, [have many consolations in this life; 
Yet that we have not divine consolations or that we seldom ex- 
is our own fault : [perience them, 
because we do not seek compunction of heart ; 
nor cast off altogether vain and outward consolation. 

Know thyself unworthy of divine consolation ; 
but rather worthy of much sorrow. 
When a man has perfect compunction ; 
then the whole world is burdensome and bitter to him. 

[weeping. 

III. A good man always finds matter enough for mourning and 
For whether he considers himself or thinks of his neighbour; 
he knows that no man lives here without tribulation. 
And the more closely he considers himself; 

(67) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXII. 

tanto amplius dolet. 

Materiae justi doloris et internae compunctionis sunt peccata 
quibus ita involuti jacemus ; [et vitia nostra : 

ut raro caelestia contemplari valeamus. 

Si frequentms de morte tua, 
quam de longitudine vitae cogitares ; 

non dubium quin ferventius te emendares. [deres : 

Si etiam futuras inferni sive purgatorii poenas cordialiter perpen- 
credo quod libenter laborem et dolorem sustineies ; 
et nihil rigoris formidares. 
Sed quia ad cor ista non transeunt, 
et blandimenta adhuc amamus ; 
ideo frigidi et valde pigri remanemus. 

Saepe est inopia spiritus ; 
unde tarn leviter conqueritur miserum corpus. 
Ora igitur humiliter ad Dominum, 
ut det tibi compunctionis spiritum; 
et die cum propheta. 
Ciba me Domine pane lacrimarum : 
et potum da miiii in lacrimis in mensura. 



Cap. XXII.— De Consideratione Humanae 

MiSERIAE. 

I. Miser es ubicumque fueris et quocumque te verteris ; 
nisi ad Deum te convertas. 

Quid turbaris : 
quia non succedit tibi sicut vis et desideras? 
Quis est qui habet omnia secundum suam voluntatem ? 
Nee ego nee tu ; 

nee aliquis hominum super terram. 

Nemo est in mundo sine aliqua tribulatione vel angustia ; 
quamvis rex sit vel papa. 

( 68 ) 



Rook I. Chap. XXII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

the more he grieves. 

The matter for just grief and inward sorrow is our sins and 
in which we lie entangled ; [vices : 

so that we are seldom able to contemplate heavenly things. 

If thou wouldest oftener think of thy death, rpurgatory : 

than of the length of thy life ; of hell or 

no doubt thou wouldest more fervently amend thyself, [punishments 
And if thou didst seriously consider in thy heart the future 
I believe thou wouldest willingly endure labour and pain ; 
and dread no kind of austerity. 

But because these things reach not down to the heart, 
and because we still love the things which delight us ; 
therefore we remain cold and very sluggish. 

It is oftentimes poverty of the spirit ; 
which makes the wretched body so easily complain. 
Pray therefore humbly to the Lord, 
that he may give thee the spirit of compunction ; 
and say with the prophet. 
Feed me O Lord with the bread of tears; 
and give me for drink tears in measure. 



Chapter XXII.— Of the Consideration of the Misery of 

Man. 

I. Thou art miserable wherever thou art and w hich way soever 
unless thou turn thyself to God. [thou turnest thyself; 

Why art thou troubled : 
because things do not succeed with thee according to thy will and 
Who is there who has all things according to his will ? [desire? 

Neither I nor thou ; 
nor any man upon earth. 

There is no man in the world without some trouble or affliction ; 
though he be king or pope. 

( 69 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXII 

Quis est qui melius habet ? 

Utique qui pro Deo aliquid pati valet. 

Dicunt multi imbecilles et infirmi ; 
ecce quam bonam vitam ille homo habet; 
quam dives quam magnus quam potens et excelsus. 
Sedattende ad caelestia bona : 
et videbis quod omnia ista temporalia nulla suat, 
sed valde incerta et magis gravantia ; 
quia numquam sine sollicitudine et timore possidentur. 
Non est hominis felicitas habere temporalia ad abundantiam ; 
sed sufficit ei mediocritas. 

Vere miseria est vivere super terram. 
Ouanto homo voluerit esse spiritualior, 
tanto praesens vita fit ei amarior; 

quia sentit melius et videt clarius humanae corruptionis defectus. 
Nam comedere bibere vigilare dormire, 
quiescere laborare, 

et ceteris necessitatibus naturae subjacere, 
vere magna miseria est et afflictio homini devoto ; 
qui libenter esset absolutus et liber ab omni peccato. 
Valde enim gravatur interior homo necessitatibus corporalibus in 
Unde propheta devote rogat ; [hoc mundo. 

quatenus liber ab istis esse valeat dicens: 
De necessitatibus meis erue me Doraine. 

Sed vae non cognoscentibus suam miseriam ; 
et amplius vae illis qui diligunt banc miseram et corruptibilem 
Nam in tantum quidam banc amplectuntur, [vitam 

licet etiam vix necessaria laborando aut mendicando habeant; 
ut si possent hie semper vivere, 
de regno Dei nihil curarent. 
O insani et infideles corde : 
qui tarn profunde in terrenis jacent ; 
ut nihil nisi carnalia sapiant. 
Sed miseri adhuc in fine graviter sentient ; 
quam vile et nihilum erat quod amaverunt. 

Sancti autem Dei et omnes devoti amici Christi, 

( 70 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

Who is it that is most at ease ? 

Doubtless he who is willing to sufifer something for God. 

Many unstable and weak men say : 
behold how well such a man lives ; 
how rich he is how great how mighty and powerful. 
But fix thine eyes on heavenly goods : 

and thou wilt see that all these temporal things are no goods at all, 
but are very uncertain and rather burdensome ; 
because they are never possessed without care and fear. 
The happiness of a man consists not in having temporal things in 
but a moderate competency suffices him. [abundance ; 

It is truly a misery to live upon earth. 
The more a man desires to be spiritual, 
the more this present life becomes bitter to him; 
because he the better understands and the more clearly sees the 

For to eat drink watch sleep, [defects of human corruption. 

rest labour, 

and to be subject to other necessities of nature, 

is truly a great misery and affliction to a devout man ; 

who desires to be released and free from all sin. 

For the inward man is very much burthened in this world with the 

And therefore the prophet devoutly prays ; [necessities of the body. 

to be freed from them as far as he can, saying : 

From my necessities deliver me O Lord. 

But woe to them that know not their own misery ; 
and greater woe to them that love this wretched and corruptible life. 
For some there are who love it to that degree, 
although they can scarce procure necessaries by labouring or 
that if they could live always here, [begging ; 

they would not care at all for the kingdom of God. 
O fools and faithless of heart : 
who lie buried so deep in earthly things ; 
as to relish nothing but things of the flesh. 
Miserable wretches they will in the end find to their cost : 
how worthless and nothing that was which they loved. 

But the saints of God and all the devout friends of Christ, 

( 71 ) 



De IMITATIONE ChRISTI. LiB. I. CAP. XXII. 

noil attenderunt quae carni placuerunt : 

nee quae in hoc tempore floruerunt ; 

sed tota spes eorum et intentio ad aeterna bona anhelabat. 

Ferebatur totum desiderium eorum sursum ad mansura et 

ne amore visibilium traherentur ad infima. [invisibilia ; 

Noli frater amittere confidentiam proficiendi ad spiritualia ; 
adhuc habes tempus et horam. 
Quare vis procrastinare propositum tuum ? 
Surge et in instanti incipe ; 
et die : 

Nunc tempus est faciendi : 
nunc tempus est pugnandi ; 
nunc aptum tempus est emendandi. 

Ouando male habes et tribularis ; 
tunc tempus est promerendi. 
Oportet te transire per ignem et aquam ; 
antequam venias in refrigerium. 
Nisi tibi vim feceris ; 
vitium non superabis. 

Quamdiu istud fragile corpus gerimus, 
sine peccato esse non possumus ; 
nee sine taedio et dolore vivere. 
Libenter haberemus ab omni miseria quietem : 
sed quia per peccatum perdidimus innocentiam ; 
amisimus etiam veram beatitudinem. 
Ideo oportet nos tenere patientiam ; 
et Dei exspectare misericordiam ; 
donee transeat iniquitas haec, 
et mortalitas absorbeatur a vita. 

11. O quanta fragilitas humana; 
quae semper prona est ad vitia. 
Kodie confiteris peccata tua ; 
et eras iterum perpetras confessa. 
Nunc proponis cavere; 
et post horam agis, 
quasi nihil proposuisses. 

( 72) 



Book I. Chap. XXTI. Of the Itmitation of Christ. 

regarded not what pleased the flesh : 

nor what flourished in this life ; [eternal, 

but their v/hole hope and aim panted after the good things that are 
Their whole desire tended upwards to things lasting and invisible ; 
lest the love of visible things should draw them down to things below. 

Lose not brother thy confidence of going forward to spiritual 
there is yet time the hour is not yet past. [things ; 

Why wilt thou put off thy resolution from day to day? 
Arise and begin this very moment ; 
and say : 

Now is the time to act : 
now is the time to fight ; 
now is the proper time to amend. 

When thou art troubled and afflicted ; 
then is the time to merit. 
Thou must pass through fire and water , 
before thou comest to the place of refreshing. 
Unless thou do violence to thyself; 
thou wilt not overcome vice. 

As long as we carry about us this frail body, 
we cannot be without sin ; 
nor live without weariness and sorrow. 
We would fain be at rest from all misery : 
but because we have lost innocence by sin ; 
we have also lost true blessedness. 
We must therefore have patience ; 
and wait for the mercy of God ; 
till this iniquity pass away, 
and mortality be swallowed up of life. 

II. Oh how great is human frailty ; 
which is always prone to vice. 
To-day thou confesses! thy sins ; 

and to-morrow thou again committest what thou didst confess. 
Now thou resolvest to take care ; 
and after an hour thou dost, 
as if thou hadst never resolved. 

{73) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXIII. 

Merito ergo nos ipsos humiliare possumus : 

nee umquam aliquid magni de nobis sentire ; 

quia tarn fragiles et instabiles sumus. 

Cito etiam potest perdi per negligentiam ; 

quod multo labore vix tandem acquisitum est per gratiam. 

Quid fiet de nobis adhuc in fine : 
qui tepescimus tarn mane? 
Vae nobis si sic volumus declinare ad quietem, 
quasi jam pax sit et securitas ; [tione nostra, 

quum necdum appareat vestigium verae sanctitatis in conversa- 

[novitii ad mores optimos ; 

Bene opus esset quod adhuc iterum instrueremur tamquam boni 
si forte spes esset de aliqua futura emendatione, 
et majori spirituali profectu. 



Cap. XXIII.— De Meditatione Mortis. 

I. Valde cito erit tecum hie factum ; 
vide aliter quomodo te habeas. 
Hodie homo est ; 
et eras non eomparet. 
Ouum autem sublatus fuerit ab oculis ; 
etiam cito transit a mente. 

O hebetudo et duritia cordis humani ; 
quod solum praesentia meditatur, 
et futura non magis praevidet. 

Sic te in omni facto et cogitatu deberes tenere ; 

quasi hodie esses moriturus. 

Si bonam conscientiam haberes ; 

non multum mortem timeres. 

Melius esset peccata cavere ; 

quam mortem fugere. 

Si hodie non es paratus : 

( 74 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

We have reason therefore to humble ourselves : 

and never to think anything great of ourselves ; 

since we are so frail and unstable. 

That may also quickly be lost through negligence ; 

which with much labour was hardly at length gotten by grace. 

What will yet become of us in the end : 
who grow lukewarm so soon ? 
Woe to us if we are for giving ourselves to rest, 
as if we had already met with peace and security; ' [life. 

when as yet there does not appear any trace of true holiness in our 
[novices be instructed in all e.xcellent behaviour ; 

It would be very needful that we should yet again like good 
if so there might perchance be hope of some future amendment, 
and of greater spiritual progress. 



Chapter XXIII.— Of the Thought of Death. 

I. Very soon will there be an end of thee here ; 
consider thy condition elsewhere. 
A man is to-day ; 
and to-morrow he is gone. 
But when he is taken away from sight ; 
he quickly also passes out of mind. 

Oh the dulness and hardness of man's heart ; 
which thinks only on what is present, 
and looks not still more to the things that are to come. 
Thou oughtest in every action and thought so to order thyself; 
as if thou wert this day to die. 
If thou hadst a good conscience ; 
thou wouldest not much fear death. 
It were better for thee to take heed not to sin ; 
than to be afraid of death. 
If thou art not prepared to-day : 

( 75 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXIII. 

quomodo eras eris ? 

Cras est dies incerta : 

et quid scis si crastinum habebis? 

Quid prodest diu vivere : 
quando tarn parum emendamur ? 
Ah longa vita non semper emendat ; 
sed saepe culpam magis auget. 

Utinam per unam diem bene essemus conversati in hoc mundo. 
Multi annos ccMnputant conversionis ; 
sed saepe parvus est fructus emendationis. 
Si formidolosum est mori ; 
forsitan periculosius erit diutius vivere. 

Beatus qui horam mortis suae semper ante oculos habet ; 
et ad moriendum quotidie se disponit. 
Si vidisti aliquando hominem mori ; 
cogita quia et tu per eandem viam transibis. 
Quum mane fuerit ; 
puta te ad vesperum non perventurum. 
Vespere autem facto ; 
mane non audeas tibi polliceri. 
Semper ergo paratus esto ; 
et tahter vive, 

ut numquam te imparatum mors inveniat. 
Multi subito et improvise moriuntur ; 
nam bora qua non putatur, 
FiHus hominis venturus est. 
Quando ilia extrema bora venerit ; 

multum aliter sentire incipies de tota vita tua praeterita ; 
et valde dolebis quia tam negligens et remissus fuisti. 

II. Quam felix et prudens, 
qui talis nunc nititur esse in vita ; 
qualis optat inveniri in morte, 

Dabit namque magnam fiduciam feliciter moriendi perfectus 
fervens desiderium in virtutibus proficiendi ; [contemptus mundi : 
amor disciplinac labor pocnitentiae : 

( 76 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXIII. Of the Imitation of Chkist. 

how wilt thou be to-morrow ? 

To-morrow is an uncertain day : 

and how dost thou know that thou wilt have a to-morrow ? 

What profits it to live long : 
when we are so little the better? 
Ah a long life does not always mend us ; 
but often adds to our guilt. 

Would that we had passed but one day well in this world. 
Many count the years of their conversion ; 
but oftentimes the fruit of amendment is small. 
If it be full of fear to die ; 
perhaps it will be more dangerous to live longer. 

Blessed is he who has always the hour of death before his eyes ; 
and every day disposes himself to die. 
If thou hast ever seen a man die ; 
think that thou must also pass through the same way. 
In the morning ; 

think thou wilt not come to evening. 
And at evening ; 

dare not promise thyself the morning. 
Be therefore always ready ; 
and live in such wise, 

that death may never find thee unprepared. 
Many die suddenly and when they look not for it ; 
for at the hour when he is not looked for, 
the Son of Man will come. 
When that last hour shall come ; 

thou wilt begin to have quite other thoughts of thy whole past life ; 
and thou wilt be exceedingly grieved that thou hast been so negli- 

[gent and remiss. 

II How happy and prudent is he, 
who strives to be such now in life ; 
as he desires to be found at death. 

For it will give a man a great confidence of dying happily if he 
a fervent desire of advancing in virtue ; ["have a perfect con- 

a love of discipline the toil of penance : [tempt of the world : 

( 77 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXIII. 

promptitudo obedientiae, 

abnegatio sui ; 

et supportatio cujuslibet adversitatis pro amore Christi. 

Malta bona potes operari dum sanus es ; 
sed infirmatus nescio quid poteris. 
Pauci ex infirmitate meliorantur ; 
sic et qui multum peregrinantur, 
raro sanctificantur. 

Noli confidere super amicos et proximos : 
nee in futurum tuam differas salutem ; 
quia citius obliviscentur tui homines quam aestimas. 
Melius est nunc tempestive providere, 
et aliquid boni praemittere ; 
quam super aliorum auxilio sperare. 
Si non es pro te ipso sollicitus modo ; 
quis erit sollicitus pro te in futuro ? 

Nunc tempus est valde pretiosum ; 
nunc sunt dies salutis ; 
nunc tempus acceptabile. 
Sed proh dolor quod hoc utilius non expendis ; 
in quo promereri vales unde aeternaliter vivas. 
Veniet, 

quando unum diem sen horam pro emendatione desiderabis ; 
et nescio an impetrabis. 
Eia carissime, 

de quanto periculo te poteris liberare, 
de quam magno tiniore eripere ; 
si modo semper timoratus fueris et suspectus de morte. 

Stude nunc taliter vivere ; 
ut in hora mortis valeas potius gaudere quam timerc. 
Disce nunc mori mundo ; 
ut tunc incipias vivere cum Christo. 
Disce nunc omnia contemnere; 
ut tunc possis libere ad Christum pergere. 
Castiga nunc corpus tuum per poenitentiam; 

( 78 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

a ready obedience, 

self-denial ; 

and patience in bearing all adversities for the love of Christ. 

Thou mayest do many good things whilst thou art well ; 
but when thou art sick I know not what thou canst do. 
Few are improved by sickness ; 
they also who go on many pilgrimages, 
seldom become holy. 

Trust not in thy friends and kinsfolk : 
and put not off the care of thy soul to hereafter ; 
for men will sooner forget thee than thou dost think. 
It is better now to provide in time, 
and send some good before thee ; 
than to trust in the help of others. 
If thou art not careful for thyself now; 
who will be careful for thee hereafter ? 

Now time is very precious ; 
now is the clay of salvation ; 
now is the acceptable time. 

But alas that thou dost not more profitably spend this time ; 
wherein thou canst earn that whereby thou mayest live for ever. 
The time will come, 

when thou wilt wish for one day or hour to amend ; 
and I know not whether thou wilt obtain it. 
Come then my beloved, 

from how great a danger mayest thou deliver thyself, 
from how great a fear mayest thou be freed ; 
if thou wouldest only be always fearful and looking for death. 

Make it thine aim so to live now ; 
that in the hour of thy death thou mayest rather rejoice than fear. 
Learn now to die to the world ; 
that then thou mayest begin to live with Christ. 
Learn now to despise all things ; 
that then thou mayest freely go to Christ. 
Chastise thy body now by penance ; 

( 79 ) 



De Imitation'e Christi. I, IB, I. Cap. XXIII 

ut tunc certain valeas habere confidentiam. 

III. Ah stulte quid cogitas te diu victurum : 
quum nullum diem habeas securum ? 
Quam multi decepti sunt ; 
et insperate de corpore extracti. 
Ouoties audisti a dicentibus, 
quia ille gladio cecidit : 
ille submersus est ; 
ille ab alto ruens cervicem fregit ; 
ille manducando obriguit, 
ille ludendo finem fecit ; 
alius igne, 
alius ferro, 
alius peste, 

alius latrocinio interiit : 
et sic omnium finis mors est ; 

et vita hominum tamquam umbra subito pertransit. 
Quis iTiemorabitur tui post mortem : 
et quis orabit pro te ? 

Age age nunc carissime quidquid agere potes : 
quia nescis quando morieris ; 
nescis etiam quid tibi post mortem sequetur. 
Dum tempus habes ; 
congrega divitias immortales. 
Praeter salutem tuam nihil cogites ; 
solum quae Dei sunt cures. 
Fac nunc tibi amicos venerando Dei sanctos, 
et eorum actus imitando : 
ut quum defeceris in hac vita '; 
illi te recipiant in aeterna tabernacula 
Serva te tamquam peregrinum et hospitem super terram; 
ad quem nihil spectat de mundi negotiis. 
Serva cor liberum et ad Deum sursum erectum ; 
quia non habes hie manentem civitatem. 
Illuc preces et gemitus quotidianos cum iacrimis dirige ; 

( 80 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXIII. Of the Imitation- oi- Chkist. 

that thou mayest then have an assured confidence. 

III. Ah fool why dost thou think to live long : 
when thou art not sure of one day .' 
How many have been deceived ; 
and have been unexpectedly snatched from the body. 
How often hast thou heard it related, 
such an one was slain by the sword : 
another was drowned ; 

another falling from on high broke his neck ; 
this man grew stark in chewing his food, 
that other came to his end when he was at play ; 
some have perished by fire, 
some by steel. 
some by pestilence, 
and some by robbers : 
thus death is the end of all ; 
and man's life passes suddenly like a shadow. 
Who will remember thee after death : 
and who will pray for thee ? 

Do my beloved do now all thou canst : 
because thou knowest not when thou shalt die ; 
nor knowest thou what shall befall thee after death. 
Whilst thou hast time ; 
heap up to thyself undying riches. 
Think of nothing but thy salvation ; 
care only for the things of God. 

Make now to thyself friends by honouring the saints of God, 
and imitating their actions : 
that when thou shalt fail in this life : 
they may receive thee into everlasting habitations. 
Keep thyself as. a pilgrim and a stranger upon earth ; 
to whom the affairs of this world do not at all belong. 
Keep thy heart free and raised upwards to God ; 
because thou hast here no abiding city. 
Send thither thy daily prayers and sighs with tears ; 

( 8i ) G 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXIV. 

ut spiritus tuus mereatur ad Dominum post mortem felicitei 

[transire 
Amen. 



Cap. XXIV.— De Judicio et Poenis 
Peccatorum. 

I. In omnibus rebus respice finem ; 
et qualiter ante districtum stabis judicem, 
cui nihil est occultum : 
qui muneribus non placatur, 
nee e.xcusationes recipit ; 
sed quod justum est judicabit. 

O miserrime et insipiens peccator, 
quid respondebis Deo omnia mala tua scienti : 
qui interdum formidas vultum hominis irati ? 

Ut quid nofi praevides tibi in die judicii quando nemo poterit per 
sed unusquisque sufificiens onus erit sibi ipsi ? Talium excusari 

Nunc labor tuus est fructuosus : [vel defendi : 

fletus acceptabilis, 
gemitus exaudibilis ; 
dolor satisfactorius et purgativus. 

Habet magnum et salubre purgatorium patiens homo ; 
qui suscipiens injurias plus dolet de alterius malitia, 
quam de sua injuria : 
qui pro contrariantibus sibi libenter orat ; 
et ex corde culpas indulget : 
qui veniam ab aliis petere non retardat ; 
qui facilius miseretur quam irascitur : 
qui sibi ipsi violentiam frequenter facit ; 
et carnem omnino spiritui subjugare conatur. 

Melius est modo purgare peccata et vitia resecare ; 
quam in futuro purganda reservare. 
Vere nos ipsos decipimus ; 

( 82 ) 



Book I. cjiai'. XXIV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

that thy spirit may be worthy to pass after death happily to the 

[Lord. 
Amen. 



Ch.\pter XXIV.— Of Judgment, and the Punishment of 

Sins. 

I. In all things look to the end ; 
and see how thou wilt be able to stand before the strict judge, 
from whom nothing is hidden : 
who is not appeased by bribes, 
who admits no excuses ; 
but will judge that which is just. 

O most wretched and foolish sinner, 
what answer wilt thou make to God who knows all thy evil deeds : 
thou who sometimes art afraid of the looks of an angry man ? 
Why dost thou not provide for thyself against the day of judgment 
but when every one will be burden enough for himself ? rwhen no man 
Now thy labour is fruitful : can be ex- 

thy tears are acceptable, cused or de- 

thy sighs can be heard ; fended by 

thy sorrow is satisfactory and purifying. lanother : 

A patient man has a great and wholesome purification ; 
who receiving injuries is more concerned at the sin of another, 
than his own wrong : 
who willingly prays for his adversaries ; 
and from his heart forgives offences : 
who delays not to ask pardon of others ; 
who is more easily moved to pity than to anger : 
who often does violence to himself ; 
and strives to bring the flesh wholly under subjection to the spirit. 

It is better now to purge out our sins and cut away our vices ; 
than to reserve them to be purged hereafter. 
Truly we deceive ourselves ; 

( 83) 



De IiMITATIONE ChRISTI. LiB. I. CAP. XXIV. 

per inordinatum amorem quern ad carnem habemus. 

Quid aliud ignis ille devorabit : 

nisi peccata tua ? 

Quanto amplius tibi ipsi nunc parcis, 

et carnem sequeris : 

tanto durius postea lues, 

et majorem materiam comburendi reservas. 

II. In quibus homo peccavit ; 
in illis gravius punietur. 

Ibi accidiosi ardentibus stimulis perurgentur; 
et gulosi ingenti siti ac fame cruciabuntur. 

Ibi luxuriosi et voluptatum amatores ardenti pice et foetido sul- 
et sicut furiosi canes prae dolore invidiosi ululabunt. Fphure per- 
Nullum vitium erit ; [fundentur ; 

quod suum proprium cruciatum non habebit, 
Ibi superbi omni confusione replebuntur ; 
et avari miserrima egestate artabuntur. 

Ibi erit una bora gravior in poena ; 
quam hie centum anni in gravissima poenitentia. 
Ibi nulla requies est, 
nulla consolatio damnatis ; 
hie tamen interdum cessatur a laboribus, 
atque amicorum fruitur solatiis. 

Esto modo sollicitus et dolens, 
pro peccatis tuis ; 
ut in die judicii securus sis cum beatis. 

Tunc enim justi stabunt in magna constantia ; 
adversus eos qui se angustiaverunt et depresserunt. 
Tunc stabit ad judicandum ; 
qui modo se subjicit humiliter judiciis hominum. 
Tunc magnam fiduciam habebit pauper et humilis ; 
et pavebit undique superbus. 
Tunc videbitur sapiens in hoc mundo fuisse ; 
qui pro Christo didicit stultus et despectus esse. 

Tunc placebit omnis tribulatio patienter perpessa ; 

( 84 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXIV. Of the Imitation of Ciikist. 

through the inordinate love we bear to tlie flesh. 

What other things shall that fire feed on : 

but thy sins? 

The more thou sparest thyself now, 

and followest the flesh ; 

the more grievously shalt thou suffer hereafter, 

and the more fuel dost thou lay up for the flame. 

II. In what things a man hath sinned ; 
in these shall he be more heavily punished. 
There the slothful are plied with fiery goads ; 

and the gluttons will be tormented with extreme thirst and hunger. 
There the luxurious and the lovers of pleasures will be bathed in 



burning pitch 
and stinking 
brimstone ; 



and like mad dogs the envious will howl for grief. 

There is no vice ; 

which will not have its proper torment. 

There the proud will be filled with all confusion ; 

and the covetous be straitened with most miserable want. 

There one hour of suffering will be more sharp ; 
than a hundred years spent here in the most rigid penance. 
No rest is there, 
no consolation for the damned ; 
but here there is now and then pause from toil, 
and we receive solace from our friends. 

Be anxious and sorrowful now, 
for thy sins ; 
that in the day of judgment thou mayest be secure with the 

For then shall the just stand with great constancy ; [blessed, 

against those that have afflicted them and kept them down. 
Then will he stand to judge ; 

who now humbly submits himself to the judgments of men. 
Then the poor and humble will have great confidence; 
and the proud will fear on every side, 
Then he will seem to have been wise in this world ; 
who learned for Christ to be a fool and despised. 

Then all tribulation suffered with patience will be pleasing; 

(8s) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXIV. 

et omnis iniquitas oppilabit os suum. 

Tunc gaudebit omnis devotus ; 

et moerebit omnis irreligiosus. 

Tunc plus exsultabit caro afflicta ; 

quam si in deliciis fuisset semper nutrita. 

Tunc splendebit habitus vilis ; 

et obtenebrescet vestis subtilis. 

Tunc plus laudabitur pauperculum domicilium ; 

quam deauratum palatium. 

Tunc plus juvabit constans patientia ; 

quam omnis mundi potentia. 

Tunc amplius exaltabitur simplex obedientia ; 
quam omnis saecularis astutia. 
Tunc plus laetificabit pura et bona conscientia ; 
quam docta philosophia. 

Tunc plus ponderabit contemptus divitiarum ; 
quam totus thesaurus terrigenarum. 
Tunc magis consolaberis super devota orationc ; 
quam super delicata comestione. 
Tunc potius gaudebis de servato silentio; 
quam de longa fabulatione. 
Tunc plus valebunt sancta opera ; 
quam multa pulchra verba. 

Tunc plus placebit stricta vita et ardua poenitentia ; 
quam omnis delectatio terrcna. 

Disce te nunc in modico pati ; 
ut tunc a gravioribus valeas liberari. 
Hie primo proba ; 
quid possis postea. 
Si nunc tarn parum vales sustinere : 
quomodo aeterna tormenta poteris sufferre? 
Si mode modica passio tarn impatientem efficit : 
quid gehenna tunc faciet ? 
Ecce vere non potes duo gaudia habere ; 

delectari hie in mundo et postea regnare cum Christo. [vixisses : 
Si usque in hodiernum diem semper in honoribus et voluptatibus 

( 86 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXIV. Of the Imitation of Chxist. 

and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. 

Then every devout man will rejoice ; ' 

and every irrelii^ious man will mourn. 

Then the flesh that has been mortified will triumph more ; 

than if it had always been nurtured in delights. 

Then will the mean attire shine ; 

and fine clothing appear as under a shade. 

Then will the poor cottage be more commended ; 

than the gilded palace. 

Then will constant patience be of more avail ; 

than all the power of the world. 

Then will simple obedience stand higher ; 
than all worldly craftiness. 

Then shall a pure and good conscience more rejoice a man ; 
than all the philosophy he has learned. 
Then shall the contempt of riches weigh more ; 
than all the treasure of the earth-born. 

Then shalt thou be more comforted because thou hast prayed 
than because thou hast fared daintily. [devoutly ; 

Then shalt thou be more glad for having kept silence ; 
than for much gossip. 

Then shall holy works be of greater value ; 
than many fair words. 

Then shall a strict life and hard penance be more pleasing ; 
than all the delight of earth. 

Learn now to suffer in little things ; 
that then thou mayest be delivered from more griev^ous suflerings. 
Try first here ; 

what thou canst suffer hereafter. 
If thou canst now endure so little : 
how wilt thou be able to bear everlasting torments? 
If a little suffering now makes thee so impatient : 
what will hell-fire do hereafter? 
Behold now thou canst not truly have the two joys ; 
to delight thyself here in the world and then reign with Christ. 
If to this day thou hadst always lived in honours and pleasures : 

( 87) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXV. 

quid totum tibi profuisset, 

si jam mori in instanti contingeret ? 

Omnia ergo vanitas ; 
praeter amare Deum et illi soli servire. 
Qui enuB Deum ex toto corde amat : 
nee mortem nee supplicium, 
nee judicium nee infernum metuit ; 
quia perfectus amor securum ad Deum accessum facit. 
Quern autem adhuc peecare delectat ; 
non mirum si mortem et judicium timeat. 
Bonum tamen est, 

ut si necdum amor a malo te revocat ; 
saltem timor gehennalis coereeat. 
Qui vero timorem Dei postponit: 
diu stare in bono non valebit ; 
sed diaboli laqueos citius incurret. 



Cap. XXV -De Ferventi Emendatione Totius Vitae 

NOSTRAE. 

1. Esto vigilans et diligens in Dei servitio : 
et cogita frequenter ad quid venisti ; 
et cur saeculum reliquisti. 
Nonne ut Deo viveres : 
et spiritualis homo fieres? 
Igitur ad profeetum ferveas : 

quia mercedem laborum tuorum in brevi recipies ; 
nee erit tune amplius timor aut dolor in finibus tuis. 
Modicum nunc laborabis ; 

et magnam requiem immo perpetuam laetitiam invenies. 
Si tu permanseris fidelis et fervidus in agendo ; 
Deus proeul dubio erit fidelis et locuples in retribuendo. 
Spem bonam retinere debes quod ad palmam pervenies ; 

(88) 



Book I. Cn.\i>. XXV. Of thk Imitation of Chkist. 

what would it all avail tliee, 

if thou wert now in a moment to die ? 

All then is vanity ; 
but to love God and to serve him only. 
For he who loves God with his whole heart : 
fears neither death nor punishment, 
nor judgment nor hell ; 

because perfect love gives secure access to God. 
I)Ut that he who still takes delight in sin ; 
should be afraid of death and judgment is no wonder 
It is good however, 

that if love as yet reclaim thee not from evil ; 
at least the fear of hell restrain thee. 
But he that lays aside the fear of God : 
will not be able to continue long in good ; 
but will quickly run into the snares of the devil. 



Chapter XXV.— Of the Fervent Amendment of our 

Whole Life. 

I. Be vigilant and diligent in the service of God : 
and often think for what end thou camest hither ; 
and why thou hast left the world. 
Was it not that thou mightest live to God : 
and become a spiritual man ? 
Strive fervently therefore towards perfection : 
for in a short time thou shalt receive the reward of thy labours ; 
and then grief and fear shall no more be within thy borders. 
Thou wilt labour a little now ; 
and thou shalt find great rest yea everlasting joy. 
If thou continue faithful and fervent in working ; 
God will doubtless be faithful and abundant in rewarding. 
Thou must hold fast a good and firm hope of gaining the palm ; 

( 89 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXV. 

sed securitatem capere non oportet : 
ne torpeas aut elatus fias. 

II. Quum quidam anxius inter metum et spem frequenter 
et quadam vice moerore confectus, [fluctuaret : 

in ecclesia ante quoddam altare, 
se in oratione prostravisset ; 
haec intra se revolvit dicens. 
O si scirem quod adhuc perseveraturus essem. 
Statimque audivit divinum intus responsum. 
Quodsi hoc scires : 
quid facere velles? 
Fac nunc quod tunc facere velles ; 
et bene securus eris. 

Moxque consolatus et confortatus divinae se commisit voluntati ; 
et cessavit anxia fluctuatio. 

Noluitque curiose investigare ut sciret quae sibi essent futura : 
sed magis studuit inquirere, 
quae esset voluntas Dei beneplacens et perfecta ; 
ad omne opus bonum inchoandum et perficiendum. 

Spera in Domino et fac bonitatem ait propheta, 
et inhabita terram ; » 

et pasceris in divitiis ejus. 

Unum est quod multos a profectu et ferventi emendatione retrahit; 
horror difficultatis seu labor certaminis. 
Enimvero illi maxime prae ceteris in virtutibus proficiunt ; 
qui ea quae sibi magis gravia et contraria sunt virilius vincere 
Nam ibi homo plus proficit, [nituntur. 

et gratiam meretur ampliorem ; 
ubi magis se ipsum vincit et in spiritu mortificat. 
Sed non omnes habent aeque multum ad vincendum et moriendum. 
Diligens tamen aemulator valentior erit ad proficiendum etiamsi 
quim alius bene morigeratus, [plures habeat passiones ; 

minus tamen fervens ad virtutes. 

Duo specialiter ad magnam emendationem juvant : 
videlicet subtrahere se violenter ad quod natura vitiose inclinatur ; 

( 90 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

but thou must not think thyself secure : 
lest thou wax negligent or be puffed up. 

II. When one who often anxiously wavered between hope and 
was one day consumed with sadness, [fear : 

in the church before a certain altar, 
he prostrated himself in prayer ; 
and revolved these things within himself, saying. 
Oh if I did but know that I should persevere on and on. 
All at once he heard within himself the divine answer. 
And if thou knewest this : 
what wouldest thou do ? 
Do now what thou wouldest then do ; 
and thou wilt be safe enough. 

And presently being comforted and strengthened he committed 
and his anxious wavering ceased. [himself to the divine will ; 

Neither had he a mind to search curiously to know what should 
but he studied rather to inquire, [befall him hereafter : 

what was the acceptable and perfect will of God ; 
for the beginning and accomplishing of every good work. 

Trust in the Lord and do good saith the prophet, 
and dwell in the land ; 
and thou shalt be fed with its riches. 

There is one thing which keeps many back from progress and 
a dread of the difficulty or the labour of the conflict, [fervent 
For in truth they advance most above others in virtue ; lamendment ; 
who strive more manfully to overcome those things which they 
For there a man makes more progress, rfind more grievous and 
and merits greater grace ; Lfep^gii'int to them, 

where he more overcomes and mortifies himself in spirit. 
But all men have not so much to overcome and to mortify. 
Yet he who is diligent and zealous although he has more passions will 
than another who is of good conduct, Fbe able to make 

but is withal less fervent in the pursuit of virtues, [greater progress ; 

Two things particularly further a great amendment : 
these are that a man should forcibly withdraw himself from that to 

[which nature is viciously inclined ; 

( 91 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXV. 

et ferventer instare pro bono quo amplius quis indiget. 

Ilia etiam studeas magis cavere et vincere ; 
quae tibi frequentius in aliis displicent. 

Ubique profectum tuum capias ; 
ut si bona exempla videas vel audias, 
ad imitandum accendaris. 
Si quid autem reprehensibile consideraveris ; 
cave ne idem facias. 
Aut si aliquando fecisti ; 
citius emendare te studeas. 
Sicut oculus tuus alios considerat ; 
SIC iterum ab aliis notaris. 

Quam jucundum et dulce est videre fervidos et devotos fratres ; 
bene morigeratos et disciplinatos. 
Quam triste est et grave videre inordinate ambulantes ; 
qui ea ad quae vocati sunt non exercent. 
Quam nocivum est negligere vocationis suae propositum ; 
et ad non commissa sensum inclinare. 

III. Memor esto arrepti propositi ; 
et imaginem tibi propone Crucifixi. 
Bene verecundari potes inspecta vita Jesu Christi : 
quia necdum magis illi te conformare studuisti ; 
licet diu in via Dei fuisti. 

Religiosus qui se intente et devote in sanctissima vita et passione 

[Domini exercet ; 
omnia utilia et necessaria sibi abundanter ibi inveniet ; 
nee opus est ut extra Jesum aliquid melius quaerat. 
O si Jesus crucifixus in cor nostrum veniret : 
quam cito et sufficienter docti essemus. 

Religiosus fervidus, 
omnia bene portat et capit ; 
quae illi jubentur. 
Religiosus negligens et tepidus, 
habet tribulationem super tribulationem ; 
et ex omni parte patitur angustiam : 

( 92 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXV. Of thf. Imitation of Christ. 

and earnestly labour for that good which he lacks the most. 

Study likewise to fly more carefully and to overcome those faults ; 
which most frequently displease thee in others. 

Turn all occasions to thy profit ; 
so that if thou seest or hearest good examples, 
thou mayest be on fire to imitate them. 
But if thou observe anything that is blameworthy ; 
take heed thou do not the same. 
Or if thou at any time hast done it ; 
labour to amend thyself out of hand. 
As thine eye observes others ; 
so thou art also noted by others. 

How pleasant and sweet it is to see brethren fervent and devout ; 
regular and well-disciplined. 

How sad it is and grievous to see those walk disorderly ; 
who practise nothing of that to which they are called. ' 
How hurtful it is to neglect the very object of our vocation ; 
and to turn our minds to things that are not entrusted to us. 

III. Be mindful of the resolution thou hast taken up ; 
and set before thee the image of the Crucified. [Jesus Christ : 

Well mayest thou be ashamed if thou hast looked upon the life of 
that thou hast not yet studied to conform thyself more to him ; 
although thou hast been long in the way of God. 
A religious who exercises himself seriously and devoutly in the 

[most holy life and passion of the Lord ; 
will find there abundantly all things useful and necessary for him ; 
nor need he seek any better thing beyond Jesus. 
Oh if Jesus crucified did but come into our heart; 
how quickly and sufficiently should we be taught. 

A fervent religious, 
bears and takes all things well ; 
that are commanded him. 
A negligent and lukewarm religious, 
has trouble upon trouble ; 
and is straitened on every side : 

( 93 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXV. 

quia interiori consolatione caret ; 

et exteriorem quaerere prohibetur. 

Religiosus extra disciplinam vivens ; 

gravi patet ruinae. 

Qui laxiora quaerit et remissiora, 

semper in angustiis erit ; 

quia aut unum aut reliquum sibi displicebit. 

Quomodo faciunt tarn multi alii religiosi : 
qui satis artati sunt sub disciplina claustrali 1 
Raro exeunt, 
abstracte vivunt, 
pauperrime comedunt ; 
grosse vestiuntur, 
multum laborant, 
parum loquuntur : 
diu vigilant, 
mature surgunt, 
orationes prolongant, 
frequenter legunt ; 
et se in omni disciplina custodiunt. 
Attende Carthusienses, 

Cistercienses et diversae religionis monachos ac moniales ; 
qualiter omni nocte ad psallendum Domino assurgunt. 
Et idee turpe esset ut tu deberes in tam sancto opere pigritari ; 
ubi tanta multitudo religiosorum incipit Deo jubilare. 

O si nihil aliud faciendum incumberet ; 
nisi Dominum Deum nostrum toto corde et ore laudare. 
O si numquam indigeres comedere nee bibere, 
nee dormire ; 

sed semper posses Deum laudare, 
et solummodo spiritualibus studiis vacare : 
tunc multo felicior esses ; 

quam modo quum carni ex qualicumque necessitate servis. 
Utinam non essent istae necessitates : 
sed solum spirituales anirnae refectiones ; 
quas heu satis raro degustamus. 

( 54 ) 



.Rook I. Chap. XXV. Oi' thk I.mitatio.n of Christ. 

because he has no consolation within ; 

and is forbidden to seek any without. 

A religious who lives in neglect of his rule; 

lies open to dreadful ruin. 

He who seeks to be more loose and remiss, 

will always be straitened ; 

for one thing or other will displease him. 

How do so many other religious : 
who live under strict monastic discipline? 
They seldom go abroad, 
they live retired, 
their diet is very poor; 
their habit coarse, 
they labour much, 
they speak little : 
they watch long, 
they rise early, 

they spend much time in prayer, 
they read often ; 

and keep themselves in all discipline. 
Consider the Carthusians, 

the Cistercians and the monks and nuns of divers orders ; 
how every night they rise to sing psalms to the Lord. [exercise ; 
It would therefore be a shame for thee to be sluggish in so holy an 
when such a multitude of religious begin to cry aloud to God. 

Oh that we had nothing else to do ; 
but to praise the Lord our God with our whole heart and mouth. 
Oh that thou didst never want to eat or drink, 
or sleep ; 

but couldest be always praising God, 
and be employed solely in spiritual exercises : 
thou wouldest then be much more happy ; 

than now whilst from some need or other thou art serving the flesh. 
Would there were no such needs: 
but only the spiritual refreshments of the soul ; 
which alas we taste too seldom. 

(95) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. I. Cap. XXV. 

Quando honio ad hoc pervenit, ■ 

quod de nulla creatura consolationem suam quaerit : 
tunc ei Deus primo perfecte sapere incipit ; 
tunc etiam bene contentus de omni eventu rerum erit. 
Tunc nee pro magno laetabitur nee pro modico contristabitur ; 
sed ponit se integre et fiducialiter in Deo qui est ei omnia in 
cui nihil utique perit, . [omnibus : 

nee moritur ; 
sed omnia ei vivunt et ad nutum ineunetanter deserviunt. 

Memento semper finis ; 
et quia perditum non redit tempus. 

Sine sollieitudine et diligentia numquam acquires virtutes. 
Si incipis tepescere ; 
incipies male habere. 
Si autem dederis te ad fervorem, 
invenies magnam pacem : 
et senties leviorem laborem ; 
propter Dei gratiam et virtutis amorem. 
Homo fervidus et diligens ; 
ad omnia est paratus. 

Major labor est resistere vitiis et passionibus ; 
quam eorporalibus insudare laboribus. 
Qui parvos non vitat defectus ; 
paulatim labitur ad majores. 
Gaudebis semper vespere ; 
si diem expendas fructuose. 
Vigila super te ipsum ; 
exeita te ipsum, 
admone te ipsum ; 
et quidquid de aliis sit ; 
non negligas te ipsum. 
Tantum proficies ; 
quantum tibi ipsi vim intuleris. 

Amen. 



( 96 ) 



Book I. Chap. XXV. Ok rm.; Imitatio.n of Chkist. 

When a man is come to this, 
tliat he seeks his consolation from no creature : 
then he begins to have the first perfect rehsh for God ; 
then Hkevvise will he be well content whatever befall him. 
Then will he neither rejoice for much nor be sorrowful for little ; 
but he puts himself wholly and confidently in God's hands who is 
to whom nothing perishes, [to him all in all : 

or dies ; 
but all things live to him and at his beck they serve without delay. 

Always remember the end ; 
and that time once lost never returns. 

Without care and diligence thou shalt never acquire virtues. 
If thou beginnest to grow lukewarm ; 
thou wilt begin to be uneasy. 
But if thou givest thyself to fervour, 
thou wilt find great peace : 
and thou wilt feel labour lighter : 
for the grace of God and love of virtue. 
A fervent and diligent man ; 
is ready for all things. 

It is harder work to resist vices and passions ; 
than to sweat over bodily labours. 
He that shuns not small defects ; 
by little and little falls into greater. 
Thou wilt always rejoice in the evenini; ; 
if thou spend the day profitably. 
Watch over thyself ; 
stir thyself up, 
admonish thyself; 
and whatever becomes of others ; 
neglect not thyself. 
The greater progress thou wilt make ; 
the greater violence thou offerest to thyself 

Amen. 



( Q7 ^ 



H 



ADMONITIONES 
AD INTERNA TRAHENTES. 

LIBER SECUNDUS. 



ADMONITIONS 
LEADING TO THE SPIRITUAL LIFE 

BOOK II. 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. I. 



LIB. TI. 

Cap. I.— De Interna Conversatione. 

I. Regnum Dei intra vos est dicit Dominus. 
Converte te ex toto corde ad Dominum ; 
et relinque hunc miserum mundum ; 
et inveniet anima tua requiem. 
Disce exteriora contemnere et ad interiora te dare ; 
et videbis regnum Dei in te venire. 
Est enim regnum Dei pax et gaudium in spiritu sancto ; 
quod non datur impiis. 

Veniet ad te Christus ostendens tibi consolationem suam ; 
si dignam illi ab intus paraveris mansionem. 
Omnis gloria ejus et decor ab intra est ; 
et ibi complacet sibi. 

Frequens illi visitatio cum homine interne : 
dulcis sermocinatio grata consolatio ; 
multa pax, 
familiaritas stupenda nimis. 

Eia anima fidelis praepara huic sponso cor tuum ; 
quatenus ad te venire, 
et ill te habitare dignetur. 
Sic enim dicit. 

Si quis diligit me sermonem meum servabit : 
et ad eum veniemus ; 
et mansionem apud eum faciemus. 

Da ergo Christo locum ; 
et ceteris omnibus nega introitum. 
Quum Christum habueris ; 
dives es et sufficit tibi. 

( loo ) 



Rook II. Chap. I. Of tiik Imitation of Christ. 



r.OOK TI. 
Chapter I.— Of the Interior Life. 

I. The kingdom of God is within you saith the Lord. 
Turn thyself with thy whole heart to the Lord ; 
and forsake this miserable world ; 
and thy soul shall find rest. 

Learn to despise outward things and to give thyself to those that 
and thou shalt see the kingdom of God come unto thee, [are within; 
For the kingdom of God is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit ; 
which is not given to the wicked. 

Christ will come to thee holding out to thee his consolation ; 
if thou prepare him a fit dwelling within thee. 
All his glory and beauty is within ; 
and therein he takes delight. 
Many a visit does he make to the interior man : 
sweet is his communication with him delightful his consolation ; 
great his peace, 
and his familiarity exceedingly amazing. 

Come therefore O faithful soul prepare thy heart for this thy 
that he may vouchsafe to come to thee, [spouse ; 

and dwell in thee. 
For so he saith. 

If any man love me he will keep my word : 
and we will come to him ; 
and will make our abode with him. 

Give place then for Christ ; 
and deny entrance to all others. 
When thou hast Christ ; 
thou art rich and he is sufficient for thee. 

( loi ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. I. 

Ipse erit provisor tuus et fidelis procurator in omnibus ; 

ut non sit opus in hominibus sperare. 

Homines enim cito mutantur et deficiunt velociter : 

Christus autem manet in aeternum ; 

et adstat usque in finem firmiter. 

Non est magna tiducia ponenda in homine fragili et mortali, 

etiamsi utilis sit et dilectus : 

neque tristitia multa ex hoc capienda ; 

si interdum adversetur et contradicat. 

Qui hodie tecum sunt, 

eras contrariari possunt ; 

et e converso saepe ut aura vertuntur. 

II. Pone totam fiduciam tuam in Deo ; 
et sit ipse timor tuus et amor tuus. 
Ipse pro te respondebit ; 
et faciet bene sicut melius fuerit. 
Non habes hie manentem civitatem : 
et ubicumque fueris extraneus es et pcregrinus : 
nee requiem ahquando habebis ; 
nisi Christo intime fueris unitus. 
Quid hie circumspicis : 
quum iste non sit locus tuae requietionis ? 
In caelestibus debet esse habitatio tua ; 
et sicut in transitu cuncta terrena sunt aspicienda. 
Transeunt omnia ; 
et tu cum eis pariter. 
Vide ut non inhaereas ; 
ne capiaris et pereas. 
Apud Altissimum sit cogitatio tua ; 
et deprecatio tua ad Christum sine intcrmissione dirigatur. 

Si nescis speculari alta et caelestia : 
rcquiesce in passione Christi ; 
et in sacris vulneribus ejus libenter habita. 
Si enim ad vulnera et pretiosa stigmata Jesu devote confugis : 
magnam in trilaulatione confortationem senties ; 

( I02 ) 



Book II. Chap. I. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

He will provide for thee and faithfully supply thy wants in all things ; 

so that thou needest not trust to men. 

For men quickly change and presently fail : 

but Christ abides for ever ; 

and stands by us firmly even to the end. 

There is no great confidence to be put in a frail and mortal man, 

however useful and dear : 

nor much grief to be taken ; 

if sometimes he be against thee and cross thee. 

They who are with thee to-da}-, 

may be against thee to-morrow ; 

and often turn round and change like the wind. 

II. Put thy whole trust in God ; 
and let him be thy fear and thy love. 
He will answer for thee ; 
and do well for thee what is for the best. 
Thou hast here no abiding city ; 

and wherever thou art thou art a stranger and a pilgrim : 
nor wilt thou ever have rest ; 
unless thou be most closely united to Christ. 
Why dost thou look around thee here : 
since this is not the place of thy repose ? 
Thy dwelling should be in heaven ; 

and all things of the earth are only to be looked upon as in passing. 
All things pass away ; 
and thou likewise along with them. 
See that thou cleave not to them ; 
lest thou be ensnared and perish. 
Let thy thought be with the Most High ; 
and thy prayer directed to Christ without ceasing. 

If thou knowest not how to meditate on high and heavenly tilings : 
rest in the passion of Christ ; 
and willingly dwell in his sacred wounds. 

For if thou flee devoutly to the wounds and precious marks of 
thou shalt feel great comfort in tribulation j [Jesus : 

( 103 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. I, 

nee multum curabis hominum despectiones ; 

faciliterque verba detrahentia perferes. 

Christus fuit etiam in mundo ab hominibus despectus ; 

et in maxima necessitate a notis et amicis inter opprobriaderelictus. 

Christus pati voluit et despici : 

et tu audes de aliquo conqueri ? 

Christus habuit adversaries et oblocutores : 

et tu vis omnes habere amicos et benefactores ? 

Unde coronabitur patientia tua : 

si nihil adversitatis occurrerit ? 

Si nihil contrarium vis pati : 

quomodo eris amicus Christi ? 

Sustine te cum Christo et pro Christo ; 

si vis regnare cum Christo. 

Si semel perfecte introisses in interiora Jesu, 

et modicum de ardente amore ejus sapuisses ; 

tunc de proprio commodo vel incommodo nihil curares : 

sed magis de opprobrio illato gaudei'es ; 

quia amor Jesu facit hominem se ipsum contemnere. 

Amator Jesu et veritatis, 
et verus internus et liber ab affectionibus inordinatis ; 
potest se ad Deum libere convertere, 
et elevare supra se ipsum in spiritu ac fruitive quiescere. 

Cui sapiunt omnia prout sunt, 
non ut dicuntur aut aestimantur : 
hie vere sapiens est ; 

et doctus magis a Deo quam ab hominibus. 
Qui ab intra scit ambulare, 
et modicum ab extra res ponderare : 
non requirit loca nee exspeetat tempora ; 
ad habenda devota exercitia. 
Homo internus cito se recolligit ; 
quia numquam se totum ad exteriora cftundit. 
Non illi obest labor exterior, 
aut occupatio ad tempus necessaria : 
sed sicut res eveniunt ; 
sic se illis accommodat. 

( 104 ) 



Book II. Chap. I. Ov thk Imitation of Christ. 

neither wilt thou much rc.c^anl the being despised by men ; 

but wilt easily bear up against words of detraction. 

Christ also was in this world despised by men ; 

and in his greatest need forsaken by his acquaintance and friends 

Christ was willing to suffer and be despised : fin the midst of 

and dost thou dare to complain of any one ? [reproaches. 

Christ had adversaries and gainsayers : 

and wouldest thou have all to be thy friends and benefactors ? 

Whence shall thy patience be crowned: 

if naught that is contrary happen unto thee ? 

If thou wilt suffer no opposition : 

how wilt thou be a friend of Christ? 

Bear up with Christ and for Christ ; 

if thou desirest to reign with Christ. 

If thou hadst once perfectly entered into the heart of Jesus, 

and tasted some little of his burning love ; [inconvenience : 

then wouldest thou not care at all for thine own convenience or 

but wouldest rather rejoice at reproach cast upon thee ; 

because the love of Jesus makes a man despise himself 

A lover of Jesus and of truth, 
one who is truly of the inner life and free from inordinate affections ; 
can freely turn himself to God, 
and in spirit raise himself above himself and rest in enjoyment. 

He to whom all things relish as they are, 
and not as they are said or esteemed to be : 
is wise indeed ; 

and taught rather by God than men. 
He who knows how to live inwardly, 
and to make little account of outward things : 
seeks not for places and waits not for times ; 
for performing devout exercises. 
A man of the inner life quickly recollects himself; 
because he never pours forth his whole self upon outward things. 
Outward labour is no hindrance to him, 
nor any employment which for a time is necessary : 
but as things fall out ; 
so he accommodates himself to them. 

( 105) 



Dk Imitationm-: Christi. Lib. II. Cai-. II. 

Qui intus bene dispositus est et ordinatus ; 
non curat mirabiles et perversos hominum gestus. 
Tantum homo impeditur et distrahitur ; 
quantum sibi res attrahit. 

Si recte tibi esset et bene purg^atus esses ; 
omnia tibi in bonum cederent et profectum. 
Ideo multa tibi displicent et saepe conturbant : 
quia adhuc non es perfecte tibi ipsi mortuus ; 
nee segreg-atus ab omnibus terrenis. 
Nil sic maculat et implicat cor hominis ; 
sicut impurus amor in creaturis. 
Si renuis consolari e.xterius ; 
poteris speculari caelestia et frequenter jubilare interius. 



Cap. II.— De Humili Submlssione. 

I. Non magni pendas quis pro te vel contra te sit ; 
sed hoc age et cura, 

ut Deus tecum sit in omni re quam facis. 
Habeas conscientiam bonam ; 
et Deus bene te defensabit. 
Ouem enim Deus adjuvare voluerit ; 
nuUius perversitas nocere poterit. 
Si tu scis tacere et pati : 
videbis proculdubio auxilium Domini. 
Ipse novit tempus et modum liberandi te ; 
et ideo te debes illi resignare. 
Dei est adjuvare ; 
et ab omni confusione liberare. ' 

Sacpc valde prodest ad majorem humilitatem ser\andam ; 
quod defectus nostros alii sciunt et redarguunt. [placat ; 

Quando homo pro defectibus suis se humiliat tunc faciliter alios 

( io6 ) 



Book 11. Chap. H. Ok thk Imit.vtion of Christ. 

He who is well disposed and ordered within ; 
lieeds not the strange and perverse carriage of men. 
.So much is a man hindered and distracted ; 
as much as he draws things to himself. 

If all were well with thee and thou wert well purified ; 
all things would turn to thy good and to thy profit. 
For this reason many things displease thee and often trouble thee : 
because thou art not as yet perfectly dead to thyself ; 
nor separated from all earthly things. 
Nothing so defiles and entangles the heart of man ; 
as impure love for the creature. 
If thou turn away from outward consolations : 

thou wilt be able to contemplate heavenly things and frequent!)- to 

[exult within. 



Chapter II.— Of Humble Submission. 

I. Make no great account who is for thee or agamst thee ; 
l)ut let it be thy business and thy care, 
that God may be with thee in everything that thou doest. 
See thou have a good conscience ; 
and God will well defend thee. 
For him whom God will help ; 
the malice of no man can hurt. 
If thou canst but hold thy peace and suffer ; 
thou shalt see without doubt the help of the Lord- 
He knows the time and manner of delivering thee ; 
and therefore thou shouldest resign thyself to him. 
It belongs to God to help ; 
and to deliver from all confusion. 

Oftentimes it is very profitable for keeping us in greater humility : 
that others know and blame our faults. [peases others ; 

When a man humbles himself for his defects he then easily ap- 

( 107 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. III. 

et leviter satisfacit sibi irascentibus. 

II. Humilem Deus protegit et liberal ; 
humilem diligit et consolatur. 
Humili homini se inclinat : 
humili largitur gratiam inagnam ; 
et post suam depressionem levat ad gloriam. 
Humili sua secreta revelat ; 
et ad se dulciter trahit et invitat. 
Humilis accepta confusione satis bene est in pace; 
quia Stat in Deo et non in mundo. 

Non reputes te aliquid profecisse ; 
nisi omnibus inferiorem te esse sentias. 



Cap. III.— De Bono Pacifico Homine. 

I. Tenc te prinio in pace : 
et tunc poteris alios pacificare. 
Homo pacificus magis prodest ; 
quam bene doctus. 

Homo passionatus etiam bonum in malum trahit ; 
et faciliter malum credit. 
Bonus pacificus homo; 
omnia ad bonum convert it. 
Qui bene in pace est ; 
de nuUo suspicatur. 

Qui autem male contentus est et commotus ; 
variis suspicionibusagitatur. 
Nee ipse quiescit ; 
nee alios quiescere peruiittit. 
Dicit saepe quod dicere non debcret ; 
et omittit quod sibi magis facere e.Kpediret. 
Considerat quid alii facere tenentur ; 

( io8 ) 



Book II. Chap. III. Of the Imitation oi" Christ. 

and quickly satisfies those that are angry w ith him. 

II. God protects and dehvers the humble ; 
tlie humble he loves and comforts. 
To the humble man he inclines himself : 
to the humble he gives much grace ; 
and after he has been cast down raises him to glory. 
To the humble he reveals his secrets ; 
and sweetly draws and invites him to himself. 
The humble man though he suiTer shame is well enough in peace ; 
because he stands fast in God and not in the world. 

Never think that thou hast made any progress ; 
till thou look upon thyself as inferior to all. 



Chapter III.— Of a Good Peaceable Man. 

I. First keep thyself in peace ; 
and then thou wilt be able to bring others to peace. 
A peaceable man does more good : 
tlian one that is very learned. 
A passionate man perverts even good into evil ; 
and easily believes evil. 
A good peaceable man ; 
turns all things to good. 
He who is in perfect peace ; 
suspects no man. 

But he who is discontented and disturbed ; 
is tossed about with various suspicions. 
He is neither at rest himself; 
nor does he suffer others to rest. 
He often says that which he should not say ; 
and omits that which it would be better for him to do. 
He considers what others are bound to do ; 

( 109 ) 



De Imitatione Chkisti. Lib. II. Cap, III. 

et negligit quid ipse teneatur. 

Habe ergo primo zelum super te ipsum ; 
et tunc juste zelare poteris etiam proximum tuum. 
Tu bene scis facta tua excusare et colorarc ; 
et aliorum excusationes non vis recipere. 
Justius esset, 
ut te accusares ; 
et fratrem tuum excusares. 
Si portari vis ; 
porta et alium. 

II. Vide quam longe es adhuc a vera caritate et humilitate ; 
quae nulli novit irasci vel indignari, 

nisi tantum sibi. 

Non est magnum cum bonis et mansuctis conversari ; 

hoc enim omnibus naturaliter placet : 

et unusquisque libenter pacem liabet ; 

et secum sentientes magis diligit. 

Sed cum duris et perversis aut indisciplinatis pacifice posse vivere ; 

magna gratia est et laudabile nimis, 

virileque factum. 

III. Sunt qui se ipsos in pace tenent ; 
€t cum aliis etiam pacem habent. 

Et sunt qui nee pacem habent ; 

nee alios in pace dimittunt. 

Aliis sunt graves ; 

sed sibi semper graviores. 

Et sunt qui se ipsos in pace retinent ; 

et ad pacem alios reducere student. 

Est tamen tota pax nostra in hac misera vita potius in humili 
quam in non sentiendo contraria. [sutierentia ponenda ; 

(^ui melius scit pati ; 
majorem tenebit pacem. 
Iste est victor sui et dominus mundi ; 
amicus Christi et heres caeli. 

( no ) 



Book II. Chap. III. Of the lMrr.\TioN of Chklst. 

and nea;lects that to wliich he himself is bound. 

Be therefore first zealous against thyself; [also, 

and then thou mayest justly exercise thy zeal towards thy neighbour 
Thou knowest w cU enough how to excuse and colour thine own 
and thou wilt not take the excuses of others. [doings ; 

It were more just, 
that thou shouldest accuse thyself ; 
and e.xcuse thy brother. 
If thou wilt be borne with ; 
bear also with another. 

II. See how for thou art yet from true charity and humility; 
which knows not how to be angry with any one or to be indignant, 
save against self. 

It is no great thing to live with them that are good and meek ; 

for this is naturally pleasing to all : 

and every one lives willingly in peace ; 

and loves those best who agree with him. 

But to be able to live peaceably with the obstinate and perverse or 

is a great grace and very praiseworthy, [disorderly ; 

and a manly feat. 

III. Some there are who keep themselves in peace ; 
and have peace also with others. 

And some there are who are neither at peace within themselves ; 

nor let others be in peace. 

They are a burthen to others ; 

but always a heavier burthen to themselves. 

And some there are who keep themselves in peace ; 

and study to bring others unto peace. 

Yet all our peace in this miserable life is rather to be placed in 
than in not feeling what is against us. [humble endurance ; 

He that knows best how to suffer ; 
will enjoy the greater peace. 

Such an one is conqueror of himself and lord of the world ; 
a friend of Christ and an heir of heaven. 

( III ) 



De Imitatioxe Christi. Lin. II. Cap. IV 



Cap. IV.— De Pura Mente et Simplici Intentione. 

I. Duabus alis homo sublevatur a terrenis ; 
simplicitate scilicet et puritate. 
Simplicitas debet esse in intentione ; 
puritas in affectione. 

Simplicitas intendit Deum ; 
puritas apprehendit et gustat. 

II. Nulla bona actio te impediet; 

si liber intus ab inordinate afifectu fueris. 

Si nihil aliud quam Dei beneplacitum et proximi utilitatem intendis 

interna libertate perfrueris. [et quaeris ; 

Si rectum cor tuum esset ; 
tunc omnis creatura speculum vitae et liber sanctae doctrinae esset. 
Non est creatura tarn parva et vilis ; 
quae Dei bonitatem non repraesentet. 
Si tu esses intus bonus et purus : 

tunc omnia sine impedimento videres et bene caperes. 
Cor purum, 
penetrat caelum et infernum. 

Quails unusquisque intus est ; 
taliter judical exterius. 
Si est gaudium in mundo ; 
hoc utique possidet puri cordis homo. 
Et si est alicubi tribulatio et angustia ; 
hoc melius novit mala conscientia. 

Sicut ferrum missum in ignem amittit rubigincm, 
et totum candens efficitur ; 
sic homo integre ad Deum se convertens a torpore exuitur ; 

( 112 ) 



Book II. Chap. IV. Of tiif. Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter H'.— Of a Pure Mind and Simple Intention. 

I. On two wings a man is lifted up above earthly things ; 
tliat is on simplicity and purity. 

Simplicity should be in the intention ; 

purity in the affection. 

Simplicity aims at God ; 

purity takes hold of him and tastes him. 

II. No good action will hinder thee ; 

if thou be free from inordinate affection within. 
If thou intendest and seekest nothing else but the good pleasure of 
thou wilt enjoy internal liberty. FGod and the profit 

[of thy neighbour ; 
If thy heart were right ; 
then every creature would be to thee as a mirror of life and a book 
There is no creature so little and contemptible ; [of holy doctrine, 
as not to manifest the goodness of God. 
If thou wert good and pure within ; 

then wouldest thou see all things without hindrance and understand 
A pure heart, [them aright, 

penetrates into heaven and hell. 

As a man is within ; 
so he judges what is without. 
If there be joy in the world ; 

certainly the man whose heart is pure possesses it. 
And if there be anywhere tribulation and anguish ; 
an evil conscience knows it too well. 

As iron put into the fire loses the rust, 
and becomes all aglow ; 
so a man who turns himself wholly to God puts off his sluggishness ; 

( 113 ) I 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. C.a.p. V. 

et in novum hominem transmutatur. 

Quando homo incipit tepescere, 

tunc parvum metuit laborem ; 

et libenter externam accipit consolalionem. 

Sed quando perfecte incipit se vincere et viriliter in via Dei 

tunc minus ea reputat ; [ambulare : 

quae sibi prius gravia esse sentiebat. 



Cap. v.— De Propria Consideratione. 

I'. Non possumus nobis ipsis nimis credere ; 
quia saepe gratia nobis deest et sensus. 

Modicum lumen est in nobis ; 
et hoc cito per negligentiam amittimus 
Saepe etiam non advertimus ; 
quod tarn caeci intus sumus. 
Saepe male agimus ; 
et pejus excusamus. 
Passione interdum movemur : 
et zelum putamus. 
Parva in aliis reprehendimus ; 
et nostra majora pertransimus. 

Satis cito sentimus et ponderamus quid ab aliis sustinemus ; 
sed quantum alii de nobis sustinent non advertimus. 
Qui bene et recte sua ponderaret ; 
non esset quod de alio graviter judicaret. 

II. Internus homo, 
sui ipsius curam omnibus curis anteponit. 
Et qui sibi ipsi diligenter intendit ; 
faciliter de aliis tacet. 
Numquam eris internus et devotus ; 
nisi de alienis silueris, 

( T14) 



Book II. Chap. V. Ok thk Imitation ok Christ 

and is changed into a new man. 

When a man begins to grow hikewarm, 

he is afraid of a little labour ; 

and gladly welcomes consolation from without. 

But when he begins perfectly to overcome himself and to walk 

then he makes less account of those things ; rmanfully in the 



which before he considered burthensome to him. I wav of God 



rmaniul 
[way of 



Chapter V.— Of the Consideration of Self. 

I. We cannot trust much to ourselves ; 
because we often lack grace and discernment. 

There is but little light in us ; 
and this we quickly lose through negligence. 
Many times also we perceive not ; 
that we are so blind within. 
We ofcen do ill ; 
and do worse in excusing it. 
We are sometimes moved with passion ; 
and think it zeal. 
We blame little things in others ; 
and pass over greater things in ourselves. 

We are quick enough at perceiving and weighing what we suffer 
but we mind not what others suffer from us. [from others ; 

He who would well and duly weigh his own deeds ; 
would not be disposed to judge harshly of others. 

II. The interior man, 

puts the care of himself before all other cares. 

And he who diligently attends to himself; 

is easily silent with regard to others. 

Thou wilt never be interior and devout ; 

unless thou be silent about the concerns of other men, 

( 113 ) 



De Imitatioxe Christi. Lid. II. Cap. VI. 

et ad te ipsum specialiter respexeris. 
Si tibi et Deo totaliter intendis ; 
modicum te movebit quod foris percipis. 

Ubi es quando tibi ipsi praesens non es ^ 
Et quando omnia percurristi : 
quid te neglecto profecisti ? 
Si debes habere pacem et unioncm veram • 
oportet quod totum adhuc postponas ; 
et te solum prae oculis habeas. 
Multum proinde proticies ; 

si te feriatum ab omni temporali cura conserves. 
Valde deficies ; 
si aliquid temporale reputaveris. 

III. Nil magnum nil altum nil yratum nil acceptum tibi sit , 
nisi pure Deus aut de Deo sit. 
Totum vanum existima ; 

quidquid consolationis occurrit de aliqua creatura. 
Amans Deum anima ; 
sub Deo despicit universa. 

Solus Deus aeternus et immensus implens omnia ; 
solatium animae et vera cordis laetitia. 



Cap. VI. -De Laetitia Bonae Consctentiae. 

I. Gloria boni hominis ; 
testimonium bonae conscientiae. 

Habe bonam conscientiam ; 
et habebis semper laetitiam. 
Bona conscientia valde multa potest portare : 
ct valde laeta est inter adversa. 
Mala conscientia, 
semper timida est et inquieta. 

Suavitcr requiesces ; 

( ii6 ) 



Book II. Chap. VI. Of the Imit.\tion of Christ. 

and particularly look to thyself. 

If thou attend wholly to thyself and to Ciod ; 

thou wilt be little moved by what thou perceivest around thee. 

Where art thou when thou art not present to thyself.' 
And when thou hast run over all things : 
what profit will it be to thee if thou hast neglected thyself ? 
If tliou must needs have peace and true union : 
thou must cast all else behind thee ; 
and turn thine eyes upon thyself alone. 
Thou wilt then make great progress ; 
if thou keep thyself free from all temporal care. 
Thou wilt fail exceedingly; 
if thou set a value upon any thing temporal. 

III. Let nothing be great nothing high nothing pleasant nothing 
except it be purely God or related to God. [agreeable to thee ; 

Look upon all as vain ; 

the consolation which thou findest in any creature. 
A soul that loves God ; 
despises all things lower than God. 

God alone is eternal infinite in greatness filling all things ; 
the solace of the soul and the trfie gladness of the heart. 



Chapter \T.— Of the Joy of a Good Conscience. 

I. The glory of a good man ; 
is the witness of a good conscience. 

Keep a good conscience ; 
and thou shalt always have gladness. 
A good conscience can bear very much ; 
and is exceeding joyful in the midst of adversity. 
A bad conscience, 
is always timid and uneasy. 

Sweetly wilt thou rest; 

( "7 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. VI. 

si cor tuum te non reprehenderit. 

Noli laetari; 

nisi quum bene feceris. 

Mali numquam habent veram laetitiam nee internam scntiunt 

quia non est pax impiis dicit Dominus. [pacem : 

Et si dixerint, 

in pace sumus, 

non venient super nos mala, 

et quis nobis nocere audebit ; 

ne credas eis : 

quoniam repente exsurget ira Dei, 

et in nihilum redigentur actus eorum ; 

et cogitationes eorum peribunt 

Gloriari in tribulatione, 
non est grave amanti ; 

sic enim gloriari est gloriari in cruce Domini 
Brevis gloria ; 

quae ab hominibus datur et accipitur. 
Mundi gloriam semper comitatur tristitia. 

II. Bonorum gloria in conscientiis eorum ; 
et non in ore hominum. 
Justorum laetitia de Deo et in Deo est ; 
et gaudium eorum de veritate. 
Qui veram et aeternam gloriam desiderat ; 
temporalem non curat. 

Et qui temporalem requirit gloriam aut non ex animo contemnit ; 
minus amare convincitur caelestem. : 

Magnam habet cordis tranquillitatem ; 
qui nee laudes curat nee vituperia. 
Facile erit contentus et pacatus ; 
cujus conscientia munda est. 
Non es sanctior si laudaris ; 
nee vilior si vituperaris. 
Quod es hoc es ; 
nee major dici vales quam Deo teste sis. 

Si attendis quid apud te sis inlus ; 

( ii8) 



Book II. Chap. VI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

if thy heart blame thee not. 

Never be glad ; 

but when thou hast done well. 

The wicked have never true gladness nor feel peace within : 

because there is no peace for the wicked saith the Lord. 

And if they shall say, 

we are in peace, 

evils will not come upon us, 

and who shall dare to hurt us ; 

believe them not : 

lor the wrath of God will arise on a sudden. 

and their deeds shall be bi-ought to nought ; 

and their thoughts shall perish. 

To glory in tribulation, 
is not hard to him who loves ; 
for so to glory is to glory in the cross of the Lord. 
The glory is short-lived ; 
which is given and taken by men. 
That glory of the world is always accompanied by sorrow. 

II. The glory of the good is in their consciences : 
and not in the mouths of men. 
The gladness of the just is from God and in God ; 
and their joy is in the truth. 
He who desires true and everlasting glory ; 

values not that which is temporal. [his heart ; 

And he that seeks after temporal glory or does not despise it from 
shows himself to have little love for that which is heavenly. 

That man has great tranquillity of heart ; 
who cares neither for praises nor dispraises. 
He will easily be content and in peace ; 
whose conscience is clean. 
Thou art not more holy if thou art praised ; 
nor worse if thou art dispraised. 
What thou art that thou art ; 
nor canst thou be said to be greater than God sees thee to be. 

If thou considerest well what thou art within thyself; 

( "9 ) 



De Imitatione Chkisti. Lib. II. Cap. VII. 

non curabis quid de te loquantur homines. 
Homo videt in facie ; 
Deus autem in corde. 
Homo considerat actus ; 
Deus vero pensat intentiones. 

Bene semper agere et modicum de se tenere ; 
humilis animae indicium est. 
Nolle consolari ab aliqua creatura, 
magnae puritatis et internae fiduciae signum est. 
Qui nullum extrinsecus pro se testimonium quaerit ; 
liquet quod totaliter se Deo commisit. 

Non enim qui se ipsum commendat ille probatus est ait beatus 
sed quem Deus commendat. [Paulus, 

Ambulare cum Deo intus, 
nee aliqua affectione teneri foris ; 
status est interni hominis. 



Cap. vn.— De Amore Jesu super omnia. 

I. Beatus qui intelligit quid sit amare Jesum ; 
et contemnere se ipsum propter Jesum. 
Oportet dilectum pro dilecto relinquere ; 

quia Jesus vult solus super omnia amari. 
Dilectio creaturae fallax et instabilis ; 
dilectio Jesu fidelis et perseverabilis. 
Qui adhaeret creaturae cadet cum labili ; 
qui amplectitur Jesum firmabitur in acvum. 

II. Ilium dilige et amicum tibi retine : 
qui omnibus recedentibus te non relinquet ; 
nee patietur in fine perire. 

Ab omnibus oportet te aliquando separari ; 
sive velis sive nolis. 

( 120 ) 



Book II. Chap. VII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

thou wilt not care what men may say of tlice. 
Man looketh on the outward appearance ; 
but God looketh on the heart. 
Man considers the actions ; 
but God weig-hs the intentions. 

To do always well and to hold self in small account ; 
is a mark of an humble soul. 
To refuse comfort from any creature, 
is a sign of great purity and of inward trust. 
He that seeks no outward testunony for himself; 
plainly has committed himself wholly to God. 

For not he who commendeth himself saith l)lesscd Paul is ap- 
but he whom God commendeth. [proved, 

To walk with God within, 
and not to be held by any affection without ; 
is the state of an interior man. 



Chapter VII.— Of the Love of Jesus above all things. 

I. Blessed is he who knows what it is to love Jesus ; 
and to despise himself for the sake of Jesus. 

We must quit what we love for this beloved ; 

because Jesus will be loved alone above all things. 

The love of the creature is deceitful and fleeting ; 

the love of Jesus is faithful and enduring. 

He who cleaves to creatures shall fall with that which totters ; 

he who embraces Jesus shall be established for ever. 

II. Love him and keep him for thy friend : 
who when all go away will not leave thee ; 
nor suffer thee to perish at the last. 

Thou must one day be parted from all things else ; 
whether thou wiliest or not. 

( 121 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. VIII. 

Teneas te apud Jesum vivens ac moriens et illius fidelitati te 
qui omnibus deficientibus solus te potest juvare. [committe ; 

Dilectus tuus talis est naturae, 
ut alienum non velit admittere : 
sed solus vult cor tuum habere ; 
et tamquam rex in proprio throno sedere. 
Si scires te bene ab omni creatura evacuare ; 
Jesus deberet libenter tecum habitare. 

III. Paene totum perditum invenies ; 
quidquid extra Jesum in hominibus posueris. 
Non confidas nee innitaris super calamum ventosum : 
quia omnis caro foenum ; 
et omnis gloria ejus ut flos foeni cadet. 

Cito decipieris ; 
si ad externam hominum apparentiam tantum aspexeris. 
Si enim tuum in aliis quaeris solatium et lucrum ; 
senties saepius detrimentum. 
Si quaeris in omnibus Jesum ; 
invenies utique Jesum. 
Si autem quaeris te ipsum, 
invenies etiam te ipsum ; 
sed ad tuam perniciem. 

Plus enim homo nocivior sibi si Jesum non quaerit ; 
quam totus mundus et omnes sui adversarii. 



Cap. VIII.— De F.^mii.iari Amicitia Jesu. 

I a. Quando Jesus adest totum bonum est ; 
nee quidquam difficile videtur. 
Quando vero Jesus non adest ; 
totum durum est. 

Quando Jesus intus non loquitur ; 
consolatio vilis est. 

( 122 ) 



Rook II. Chap. VIII. Ok tiif Imitation of Christ. 

Keep thyself with Jesus both in life and in death and commit thy- 
who alone can help thee when all else fail thee. fself to his faith- 

Thy beloved is of such a nature, ifulness ; 

that he will not accept that which belons^s to another : 
but he will have thy heart for himself; 
and will sit as a king on his own throne. 

If thou didst but know how to free thyself entirely from every 
Jesus would readily dwell with thee. [creature ; 

I IT. Thou wilt find almost all lost ; 
which thou hast stored up in men apart from Jesus. 
Do not trust nor lean upon a reed shaken with the wind : 
for all flesh is grass ; 
and all the glory thereof will fall as the flower of grass. 

Thou wilt soon be deceived ; 
if thou regard only the outward show of men. 
For if thou seek thy comfort and thy gain in others ; 
thou wilt often meet with loss. 
If in all things thou seek Jesus ; 
without fail thou wilt find Jesus. 
But if thou seek thyself, 
thou wilt find thyself indeed ; 
but to thine own ruin. 

For a man is more hurtful to himself if he seek not Jesus ; 
than the whole world and all his enemies. 



Chapter VIII.— Of Familiar Friendship with Jesus. 

I a. When Jesus is with us all is well ; 
and nothing seems difficult. 
But when Jesus is not with us ; 
every thing is hard. 

When Jesus speaks not within ; 
our comfort is naught. 

( 123 ) 



De Imitatioxe Christi. Lib. II. Cap. VIII. 

Si autem Jesus unum tantum verbum loquitur ; 

magna consolatio sentitur. 

Nonne Maria Magdalena statim surrexit de loco in quo flevit : 

quando Martha illi dixit magister adest et vocat te ? 

Felix hora ; 

quando Jesus vocat de lacrimis ad gaudium spiritus. 

Quam aridus et durus es sine Jesu. 
Guam insipiens et vanus ; 
si cupis aliquid extra Jesum. 
Nonne hoc est majus damnum : 
quam si totum perderes mimdum? 
Quid potest tibi mundus cenferre sine Jesu ? 
Esse sine Jesu gravis est infernus ; 
et esse cum Jesu dulcis paradisus. 
Si fuerit tecum Jesus ; 
nuUus poterit nocere inimicus. 
Qui invenit Jesum invenit thesaurum bonum ; 
immo bonum super omne bonum. 
Et qui perdit Jesum perdit nimis multum ; 
et plus quam totum mundum. 
Pauperrimus est qui vivit sine Jesu ; 
et ditissimus qui bene est cum Jesu. 

I b. Magna ars est, 
scire cum Jesu conversari ; 
et scire Jesum tenere magna prudentia. 
Esto humilis et pacificus ; 
et erit tecum Jesus. 
Sis devotus et quietus ; 
et manebit tecum Jesus. 

Potes cite fugare Jesum et gratiam ejus perdere ; 
si volueris ad exteriora declinare. 
Et si ilium effugaveris et perdideris : 
ad quem fugies et quem tunc quaeres amicum? 
Sine amico non potes bene vivere : 
et si Jesus non fuerit tibi prae omnibus amicus ; 
oris nimis tristis et desolatus. 

( ^=4) 



Book II. Chap. VIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

But if Jesus speak only one word ; 

we feel great consolation. [wept : 

Did not Mary Magdalene arise presently from the place where she 

when Martha said to her The Master is come and calleth for thee ? 

Happy the hour ; 

when Jesus calls from tears to joy of the spirit. 

How parched and hard art thou without Jesus. 
How unwise and vain ; 
if thou desire any thing out of Jesus. 
Is not this a greater loss : 
than if thou wert to lose the whole world 't 
What can the world bestow on thee without Jesus ? 
To be without Jesus is a grievous hell ; 
and to be with Jesus a sweet paradise. 
If Jesus be with thee ; 
no enemy can harm. 

Whosoever finds Jesus finds a good treasure ; 
yea a good above all good. 
And he who loses Jesus loses exceeding much ; 
and more than the whole .world. 
None so poor as he who lives without Jesus ; 
and none so rich as he who is well with Jesus. 

I b. It is a great art, 
to know how to live with Jesus ; 
and to know how to keep Jesus is great wisdom. 
Be humble and peaceable ; 
and Jesus will be with thee. 
Be devout and quiet ; 
and Jesus will abide with thee. 

Thou mayest quickly drive away Jesus and lose his grace ; 
if thou wilt fall back upon outward things. 
.A.nd if thou drive him away from thee and lose him : 
to whom wilt thou fly and whom wilt thou then seek as thy friend ? 
Without a friend thou canst not well live: 
and if Jesus be not thy friend above all ; 
thou wilt be exceeding sad and desolate. 

( 125 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. VIII. 

Fatue igitur agis ; 

si in aliquo altero confidis aut laetaris. 

Eligendum est magis totum mundum habere contrarium ; 

quam Jesum offensum. 

Ex omnibus ergo caris ; 

bit Jesus solus dilectus specialis. 

.II. Diligantur omnes propter Jesum ; 
Jesus autem propter se ipsum. 
Solus Jesus Christus singulariter est amandus ; 
qui solus bonus et fidelis prae omnibus invenitur amicis. 
Propter ipsum et in ipso tam amici quam inimici sint tibi cari : 
et pro omnibus his exorandus est : 
ut omnes ipsum cognoscant et diligant. 

Numquam cupias singulariter laudari vel aman : 
quia hoc solius Dei est ; 
qui similem sibi non habet. 

Nee velis quod aliquis tecum in corde suo occupetur : 
neque tu cum alicujus occuperis amore ; 
sed sit Jesus in te et in omni bono homine. 

Esto purus et liber ab intus ; 
sine alicujus creaturae implicamento. 
Oportet te esse nudum et purum. cor ad Deum gerere ; 
si vis vacare et videre quam suavis sit Dominus. 
Et revera ad hoc non pervenies nisi gratia ejus fueris praeventus 
ut omnibus evacuatis et licentiatis ; [et intractus : 

solus cum solo uniaris. 

Quando enim gratia Dei venit ad hominem ; 
tunc potens fit ad omnia. 
Et quando recedit, 
tunc pauper et infirmus erit ; 
et quasi tantum ad flagella relictus. 
In his non debet dejici nee despcrare, 
sed ad voluntatem Dei aequanimiter stare ; 
et cuncta supervenientia sibi ad laudem Jesu Christi perpeti : 
quia post hiemem sequitur aestas ; 

( 126 ) 



Book II. Cu.w. VITI. Of tuk Imitation of Christ. 

Thou actest then hke a fool ; 

if thou puttest tliy trust or rejoicest in any other. 

We ought rather to choose to have the whole world against us ; 

than to oftend Jesus. 

Of all therefore that are dear to thee ; 

let Jesus alone be thine especially beloved. 

1 1. Let all be loved for the sake of Jesus ; " 
but Jesus for his own sake. 

Jesus Christ alone is to be loved with an exclusive love; 
since he alone is found good and faithful above all friends. 
For him and in him let both friends and enemies be dear to thee : 
and for all these must thou entreat him ; 
that all may know and love him. 

Never desire to be praised or loved above others : 
for this belongs to God alone ; 
who hath none like to himself. 

Neither desire that any should set his heart on thee : 
nor do thou let thyself be taken up with the love of any one ; 
but let Jesus be in thee and in every good man. 

Be pure and free within ; 
and be not entangled by any creature. 
Thou must be naked and carry a pure heart to God ; 
if thou wilt rest and see how sweet the Lord is. 
And truly thou wilt never attain to this unless thou be prevented and 
that so having cleared out and said farewell to all others ; rdrawn by 
thou alone mayest be united to him alone. [his grace : 

For when the grace of God comes to a man ; 
then is he powerful for all things. 
And when it departs, 
then he is poor and weak ; 
abandoned as it were only to stripes. 
Under these he should not be cast down nor despair, 
but stand with an even mind according to the will ot God ; 
and bear to the praise of Jesus Christ whatever comes upon him : 
because after winter comes summer ; 

( 127 ) 



De Lmitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cai-. IX. 

post noctem redit dies, 

et post tempestatem magna seienitas. 



Cap. IX.— De Carentia omnis Solatii. 

I. Non est grave humanum contemnere solatium ; 
quum adest divinum. [carere solatio ; 

Magnum est et valde magnum tam humane quam divino posse 
et pro honore Dei libenter exsilium cordis velle sustinere, 
et in nullo se ipsum quaerere ; 
nee ad proprium meritum respicere. 

Quid magni est, 
si hilaris sis et devotus adveniente gratia .? 
Optabilis cunctis haec hora. 
Satis suaviter equitat ; 
quem gratia Dei portat. 
Et quid mirum si onus non sentit, 
qui portatur ab omnipotente : 
et ducitur a summo ductore ? 

Libenter habemus aliquid pro solatio ; 
et difficulter homo exuitur a se ipso. 

Vicit sanctus martyr Laurentius saeculum cum suo saccrdote ; 
quia omne quod in mundo delectabile videbatur despexit : 
et summum Dei sacerdotem Sixtum quem maxime diligebat ; 
pro amore Christi etiam a se tolli clementer ferebat. 
Amore igitur creatoris amorem hominis superavit ; 
et pro humano solatio divinum beneplacitum magis elegit. 

[discc rcHnquere : 
Ita et tu aliquem necessarium et dilectum amicum pro amore Dei 
nee graviter feras quum ab amico derelictus fueris ; 
sciens quoniam oportet nos omnes tandem ab invicem separari. 

Multum et diu oportet hominem in se ipso certarc, 
antequam discat se ipsum plene superare ; 
et totum affectum suuni in Deum trahere. 

( 123 ) 



Book II. Chap. IX. Oi- the Imitation of Christ. 

after the night the day returns, 
and after a storm a great cahii. 



Chapter IX.— Of the Want of all Solace. 

I. It is no great matter to despise ail iuiman solace ; 
when we have that which is divine. [both human and divine ; 

It is a great thing and very great to be able to do without all solace 
and to be willing to bear this e.xile of the heart for the honour of 
and in nothing seek self ; [God, 

and not to have regard to one's own merit. 

What great thing is it, 
if thou be cheerful and devout when grace comes to thee? 
This is an hour desirable to all. 
He rides at ease ; 
whom the grace of God carries. 
And what wonder if he feel no burthen, 
who is carried by the Almight)' : 
and led on by the sovereign guide ? 

We are glad to have something to comfort us ; 
and it is with difiliculty that a man can put off himself 

The holy martvr Laurence with his priest o\-ercame the world ; 
because he despised whatever seemed delightful in this world : 
and the high priest of God, Sixtus, whom he exceedingly loved ; 
for the love of Christ he also suffered to be taken away from him. 
He overcame tlierefore the love of man by the love of the Creator ; 
and instead of human solace he made choice rather of the gootl 

[pleasure of God. 
So do thou also learn to part with some familiar and beloved friend 
and take it not to heart when thou art forsaken by a friend ; [for the 
knowing that one time or other we must all part. [lo\e of God : 

A man must go through a long and great conflict within himself, 
before he can learn fully to overcome himself; 
and to draw his whole aftection towards Ciod. 

( 1=9 ) K 



De Imitations Ciikisti. Lib. II. Cap. IX. 

Quando homo stat super se ipsum ; 
facile labitur ad consolationes humanas. 
Sed verus ainator Christi et studiosus sectator virtutum, 
non cadit super consolationes : 
nee quaerit tales sensibiles dulcedines ; 

sed mag-is fortes exercitationes et pro Christo duros sustinere 

[labores. 

II. Quum igitur spiritualis a Deo consolatio datur, 
cum gratiarum actione accipe eam : 
sed Dei munus intellige esse; 
non tuum meritum. 
Noli extolli, 

noli nimium gaudere nee inaniter praesumere : 
sed esto magis humiiior ex dono, 
cautior quoque et tiinoratior in cunctis actibus tuis ; 
quoniam transibit hora ilia et sequetur tentatio. 
Quum ablata fuerit consolatio non statim desperes : 
sed cum humilitate et patientia exspecta caelesteln visitationem : 
quoniam potens est Deus ampliorem tibi redonare consolationem. 

Istud non est novum nee alienum viam Dei expeitis ; 
quia in magnis Sanctis et in antiquis prophetis, 
fuit saepe talis alternationis modus. 
Unde quidam praesente jam gratia dicebat. 
Ego dixi in abundantia mea ; 
non movebor in aeternum. 
Absente vero gratia quid in se fuerit expertus ; 
adjungit dicens. 
Avertisti faciem tuam a me ; 
et factus sum conturbatus. 
Inter haec tamen nequaquam despcrat ; 
sed instantius Dominum rogat et dicit. 
Ad te Domine clamabo ; 
et ad Deum meum deprecabor. 
Denique orationis suae fructum reportat ; 
et se exauditum testatur dicens. 
Audivit Dominus et misertus est mei ; 
Dominus factus est adjutor meus. 

( 130 ) 



Book II. Ciiai'. IX. Of tuf. Imitation- of Christ. 

When ;i niun slands upon himself ; 

he easily falls off to human consolation. 

But a true lover of Christ and a diligent follower after virtue, 

does not fall back on consolations : 

nor seek such sensible sweetnesses ; 

but is rather willing to hear strong trials and hard labours for Christ. 

II. Therefore when God gives spiritual comfort, 
receive it with thanksgiving : 
Init know that it is the gift of God ; 
not thy desert. 
Be not puffed up, 

be not overjoyed nor presume vainly : 
but rather be the more humble because it is a gift, 
and the more cautious and wary in all ihy actions ; 
for this hour will pass away and temptation will follow. 
When consolation shall be taken away do not presently give up 
but wait with humility and patience for the heavenly visit : [hope : 
for God is able to give thee back again a fuller consolation. 

This is no new thing nor strange to those who have e.xperienced 
for in the great saints and ancient prophets, [the ways of God ; 

this has often been the way that the one changes for the other. 

Hence one said at the time when grace was with him. 

In my abundance I said ; 

I shall never be moved. 

But when grace was withdrawn what he experienced in himself; 

he immediately tells us. 

Thou didst turn away thy face from me ; 

and I was troubled. 

Yet in the mean time he despairs not ; 

but more earnestly prays to the Lord, sa> ing. 

To thee O Lord will I cry ; 

and I will pray to my God. 

At length he receives the fruit of his prayer ; 

and witnesses that he was heard, saying. 

The Lord hath heard me and hath had merc\- on me ; 

the Lord hath become my helper. 

' 131 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Liu. II. Cap. IX. 

Sed in quo ? 

Convertisti inquit planctum meum in gaudium mihi ; 

et circumdedisti me laetitia. 

Si sic actum est cum magnis Sanctis : 
non est desperandum nobis infiimis et pauperibus, 
si interdum in fervore et interdum in frigiditate sumus ; 
quoniam spiritus venit et recedit secundum suae bcneplacitum 
Unde beatus Job ait. [\oluntatis. 

Visitas cum diluculo ; 
et subito probas ilium. 

III. Super quid igitur sperare possum aut in quo confidere 
nisi in sola magna misericordia Dei, [debeo : 

et in sola spe gratiae caelestis? 

Sive enim adsint homines boni sive devoti fratres vel amici tideles ; 
sive libri sancti vel tractatus pulchri, 
sive dulcis cantus et hymni ; 
omnia haec modicum juvant, 
modicum sapiunt ; 

quando desertus sum a gratia et in propria paupertate relictus. 
Tunc non est melius remedium ; 
quam patientia et abnegatiomei in voluntate Dei. 

Numquam inveni aliquem tam religiosum ct devotum, 
qui non habuerit interdum gratiae subtractionem : 
aut non senserit fervoris diminutionem. 
Nullus sanctus fuit tam alte raptus et illuminatus ; 
qui prius vel postea non fuerit tentatus. 
Non enim dignus est alta Dei contemplatione ; 
qui pro Deo non est exercitatus aliqua tribulatione. 
Solet enim sequentis consolationis ; 
tentatio praecedens esse signum. 
Nam tentationibus probatis ; 
caelestis promittitur consolatio. 
Qui vicerit inquit dabo ei edere de ligno vitae. 
Datur autem consolatio divina ; 
ut homo fortior sit ad sustinendum adversa. 
Sequitur etiam tentatio ; 

( 132 ) 



Book II. Chap. IX. Of thf. Imitation of Chkisi. 

P)Ut how ? 

Thou h;ist turned for me saith he my mourninj,^ into joy; 

and thou hast compassed me with gladness. 

If it has been thus with great saints : 
we that are weak and poor must not be discouraged, 
if we are sometimes fervent sometimes cold ; 

because the spirit comes and goes according to the good pleasure 
Wherefore blessed Job saith. [of his will. 

Thou visitest him early in the morning ; 
and thou provest him suddenly. 

III. Wherein then can I hope or in what should 1 trust : 
but in the sole great mercy of (iod, 
and in the sole hope of heavenly grace? 

For whether I have with me good men or devout brethren or 
or holy books or fine treatises, [faithful friends ; 

or sweet singing and hymns ; 
all these help little, 
and give me but little relish ; 

when I am forsaken by grace and left in my own poverty. 
Then there is no better remedy ; 
than patience and the denial of myself according to the will of 

I have never found any one so religious and devout, [God. 

as not to have sometimes a withdrawing of grace ; 
or to'feel some decrease of fervour. 
No saint was ever so highly rapt and illuminated ; 
as not to be tempted before or after. 
For he is not worthy of the high contemplation of God ; 
who has not been exercised with some tribulation for the sake of 
For of the consolation which follows it ; [God. 

temptation is usually the sign going before. 
For to such as have been proved by temptation ; 
heavenly consolation is promised. 

To him that overcometh saith he 1 will give to eat of the tree of 
Ikit divine consolation is given ; [life, 

that a man may be better able to support adversities. 
And temptation follows ; 

( 133 ) 



De Imitatioxe Christi. I.ip.. II. Cap. X. 

lie se elevet cle bono. 

Non dormit diabolus nee caro adhuc movtua est : 

ideo non cesses te praeparare ad certamen : 

quia a dextris et a sinistris hostes sunt qui numquam quiescunt. 



Cap. X.— De Gratitudine pro Gratia Dei. 

I. Cur quaeris quietem : 
quum natus sis ad laborem ? 

Pone te ad patientiam magis quam ad consolationes ; 
et ad crucem portandam magis quam ad laetitiam. 

Quis enim saecularium non libenter consolationem et laetitiam 
si semper obtinere posset ? [spiritualem acciperet : 

Excedunt enim spirituales consolationes ; 
omnes mundi delicias ct carnis voluptates. 
Nam omnes deliciae mundanae ; 
aut vanae sunt aut turpes. 

Spirituales vero deliciae solae jucundae et honestac ; 
ex virtu tibus progenitae* 
eta Deo puris mentibus infusae. 

Sed istis divinis consolationibus nemo semper pro suo aftectu 
quia tempus tentationis non cessat. [frui valet ; 

Multum autem contrariatur supernae visitationi ; 
falsa libertas animi et magna contidentia sui. 

Deus bene facit consolationis gratiam dando ; 
sed homo male agit, 

non totum Deo cum gratiarum actione retribuendo. 
Et ideo non possunt in nobis dona gratiac (lucre : 
quia ingrati sumus auctori ; 
nee totum refundimus fontali origini. 
Semper enim debetur gratia digne gratias refcrenti ; 
et auferetur ab elato quod dari solet humili. 

Nolo consolationem : 

( 134) 



Book II. Chap. X. Of thf. Imitation of Christ. 

that he may not be puffed up because of the good. 

The devil sleeps not neither is the flesh yet dead : 

therefore thou must not cease to prepare thyself for battle ; 

for on the ri''ht hand and on the left arc enemies that never rest. 



CriAPTER X. -Of Gratitude for the Grace of God. 

I. Why seekest thou rest : 
since thou art born to labour? 

Dispose thyself to endurance rather than to consolations ; 
and to bear the cross rather than to rejoice. 

For who is there amongst people in the world who would not 
if he could always have it ? Fwillingly receive consolation 

For spiritual consolations exceed : L'^nd spiritual gladness : 
all the delights of the world and pleasures of the flesh. 
For all worldly delights ; 
arc cither vain or base. 

But spiritual delights alone ai-e pleasant and noble ; 
springing from virtues, 
and infused by God into pure minds. 

But these divine consolations no man can always enjoy as long 
because the lime of icmpiation comes not to an end. Tas he would 



[as he 
like; 



But that which very much opposes these heavenly visits ; 
is a false liberty of mind and a great conlidence in self. 

God does well in giving the grace of consolation ; 
but man does ill, 

in not referring it all to God with thanksgiving. 
And therefore the gifts of grace cannot flow in us : 
because we are ungrateful to the giver ; 

and do not pour all back to the fountain head. [graces ; 

For grace is ever due to him who worthily renders thanks for 
and what is wont to be given to the humble will be taken away from 

I would not have such consolation ; [the proud. 

{ '35 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. X. 

quae mihi aufert compunctioncm. 

Nee afFecto contemplationem ; 

quae ducit in elationeni. 

Non enim omne altum sanctum : 

nee omne dulce bonum nee omnedesideiium purum ; 

nee omne carum Deo gratum. 

Libenter accepto gratiam, 

unde semper humilior et limoratior inveniar ; 

atque ad relinquendum me paratior fiam. 

II. Doctus dono gratiae et eruditus subtractionis verbere non 



sibi audebit quid- 
quam boni attri- 



sed potius se pauperem et nudum confitebitur, 

Da Deo quod Dei est, 

et tibi adscribe quod tuum est ; Lbuere; 

hoc est Deo gratias pro gratia tribue : 

tibi autem soli culpam ; 

et dignam poenam pro culpa deberi sentias. 

Pone te semper ad infimum, 
et dabitur tibi summum ; 
nam summum non stat sine intimo. 
Summi sancti apud Deum ; 
minimi sunt apud se. 
Et quanto gloriosiores ; 
tanto in se humiliores. 
Pleni veritate et gloria caelesti ; 
non sunt vanae gloriae eupidi. 
In Deo fundati et eonfirmati ; 
nullo modo possunt esse elati. 

Et qui totum Deo adscribunt quidquid boni acceperunt, 
gloriam ab invicem non quacrunt ; 
sed gloriam quae a solo Deo est volunt: 

et Deum in se et in omnibus Sanctis laudari super omnia cupiunt ; 
et semper in id ipsum tendunt. 

Esto igitur gratus pro minimo ; 
et eris dignus majora accipere. 
Sit tibi minimum etiam pro maximo ; 
et magis contemptibile pro speciali dono. 

( 136 ) 



Book II. Cn.\i>. X. 



Of thk Imitation of ("iirist 



as would rob me of compunction. 

Nor do I wish for such contemplation ; 

as leads to pride. 

For not all that is high is holy : 

nor all that is pleasant good nor every desire pure ; 

nor all that is dear to us pleasing to God. 

I willingly accept of that grace, 

by which I am ever found to be more humble and wary ; 

and become more ready to forsake myself. 

II. He who has been taught by the gift of grace and instructed 
but will rather acknowledge himself to be poor and naked, by the 
Give to God what is God's, scourge 

and take to thyself what is thine ; of its 

that is give thanks to God for his grace : with- 

but feel that what there is of fault is thine alone ; dravval 

and the fitting punishment of thy fault. will not 

Put thyself always at the lowest, dare to 

and the highest shall be given thee ; attribute 

for the highest is not valid without the lowest. anything 

The saints highest in the sight of God ; good to 

are least in their own eyes. 'himself ; 

And the more glorious they are ; 
the more humble they are in themselves. 
They who are full of truth and heavenly glory ; 
are not desirous of vain glory. 
They who are grounded and established in God : 
can by no means be proud. 

And they who attribute whatsoever good they have received to 
seek not glory one from another ; [God, 

but that glory which is from God alone : 

and they desire above all things that God may be praised in them- 
and this is always their aim. [selves and in all the saints ; 

Be grateful then for the least ; 
and thou shalt be worthy to receive greater things. 
Let the least be to thee as very great ; 
and the most contemptible as a special gift. 

( 137) 



Dr. iMiTATiONE Christi. Lib. II. Cap. XI. 

Si dignitas datoris inspicitur ; 

nullum datum parvum aut nimis vile videbitur. 

Non enim parvum est : 

quod a summo Deo donatur. 

Etiamsi poenas et verbera dederit, 

gratum esse debet ; [mittit. 

quia semper pro salute nostra facit quidquid nobis advenire per- 

Qui gratiam Dei retinere desiderat, 
sit gratus pro gratia data ; 
patiens pro sublala. 
Oret ut redeat ; 
cautus sit et humilis ne amittat. 



Cap. XI.-Dk Paucitate Amatorum 
Ckucis Jesu. 

I. Habet Jesus nunc multos amatoresregni sui caelestis ; 
sed paucos bajulatores suae crucis. 
Multos habet desideratores consolationis ; 
sed paucos tribulationis. 
Plures invenit socios mensae : 
sed paucos abstinentiae. 
Omnes cupiunt cum eo gaudere ; 
pauci volunt pro eo aliquid sustinere. 
Multi Jesuin sequuntur usque ad fractionem panis ; 
sed pauci usque ad bibendum calicem passion is. 
Multi miracula ejus venerantur ; 
pauci ignominiam crucis sequunlur. 
Multi Jesum diligunt ; 
quamdiu adversa non contingunt. 
Multi ilium laudant ct bcnedicunt ; 

( 130 ': 



Hook II. Chap. XI. Of thf, Tmit.\tion- of Christ. 

If thou considerest the dignity of the giver ; 
no gift will seem to thee little or worthless. 
For that is not small : 

which comes as a gift from the most high God. 
Yea though he give punishment and stripes, 
it ought to be acceptable ; 

for whatever he allows to befall us he al\va}s does it for our salva- 

[tion. 
Let him who desires to retain the grace of God, 
be grateful for grace when given ; 
and patient when it is withdrawn. 
Let him pray that it may return ; 
let him be cautious and humble lest he lose it. 



Chapter XL— Of the Fewness of the Lovers of the 

Cross of Jesus 

L Jesus has now many lovers of his heavenly kingdom ; 
but few bearers of his cross. 
He has many who are desirous of consolation ; 
but few of tribulation. 
He finds many companions of his table : 
but few of his fasting. 
All desire to rejoice with him ; 
few are willing to suffer anything for him. 
Many follow Jesus as far as the breaking of bread ; 
but few to the drinking of the chalice of his passion. 
Many reverence his miracles ; 
but few follow the reproach of his cross. 
Many love Jesus ; 

as long as they meet with no adversity. 
Many praise and bless him ; 

( 139 ) 



De Imitatioxe Christi. Lib. II. Cap. XI. 

quamdiu consolationes aliquas ab ipso percipiunt. Fdiligunt ; 

Si autem Jesus seabsconderit et modicum eosreliquerit; lationem 
aut in querimoniam vel in dejectionem nimiam cadunt.Lquam conso- 

Oui autem Jesum propter Jesumetnon propter suampropriamali- 
ipsum in omni tribulatione et angustia cordis sicut in summa con- 
Et si numquam eis consolationcm dare vellet : [solatione 

ipsum tamen semper laudarent ; [benedicunt. 

et semper gratias agere vellent. 
O quantum potest amor Jesu purus ; 
nullo proprio commodo vel amore permixtus. 

Nonne omnes mercenarii sunt dicendi : 
qui consolationes semper quaerunt ? 
Nonne amatores sui magis quam Christi probantur : 
qui sua commoda et lucra semper meditantur? 

II. Ubi invenietur talis : 
qui velit Deo servire gratis ? 
Raro invenitur tam spirituals aliquis ; 
qui omnibus sit nudatus. 
Nam verum pauperem spiritu, 
et ab omni creatura nudum quis inveniet ? 
Procul et de ultimis finibus, 
pretium ejus. 

Si dederit homo omnem substantiam suam, 
adhuc nihil est ; 

et si fecerit poenitentiam magnam adhuc exiguum est, 
et si apprehenderit omnem scientiam adhuc longe est ; 
et si habuerit virtutem magnam, 
et devotionem nimis ardentem : 
adhuc multum sibi deest ; 

scilicet unum quod summe sibi necessarium est. 
Quidillud? 

Ut omnibus relictis se relinquat et a se totaliter exeat ; 
nihilque de private amore retineat. 
Quumque omnia fecerit quae facienda noverit, 
nil sc fccisse sentiat ; 
non grande pondcret quod grandc aestimari possit : 

( 140 ) 



Book II. Chap. XI. Ok the Imitation of Christ. 

as long as they receive some consolations from him. 

But if Jesus hide himself and leave them for a little while ; Town : 

they fall either into complaining or into excessive dejection, [their 

But they who love Jesus for Jesus' sake and not for any comfort of 
bless him no less in tribulation and anguish of heart than in the 
And if he should never give them consolation : Fgreatest con- 

yet would they always praise him ; [solation. 

and always give him thanks. 

Oh what might there is in the pure love of Jesus ; 
when unmixed with any self-interest or self-love. 

Are not all those to be called hirelings : 
who are always looking for consolations? 

Are not they proved to be rather lovers of themselves than of 
who always think of their own profit and gain r [Christ : 

11. Where shall we find a man : 
who is willing to serve God for nought ? 
.Seldom do we find any one so spiritual ; 
as to be stripped of all things. 
For the man who is truly poor in spirit, 
and stripped of every creature, who can find.'' 
From afar and from the remotest coasts, 
is his value. 

If a man give his whole substance, 
it is yet nothing ; 

and if he do great penance it is yet little, 
and if he have laid hold of all knowledge he is still far off; 
and if he have great virtue, 
and a devotion glowing exceedingly : 
still is there much lacking to him ; 

that is to say that one thing which is above all necessary to him 
What is that ? 

That having forsaken all things he should forsake hmiself and 
and retain no personal affection. [wholly go out of himself ; 

And when he shall have done all things which he knows should be 
that he should think that he has done nothing : [done, 

let him not make great account of that which may be deemed great : 

( 141 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. XII. 

sed in veritate servum inulilem se pronuntiet : 

sicut Veritas ait. 

Ouum feceritis omnia quae praecepta sunt vobis ; 

dicite, 

servi inutiles sumus. 

Tunc vere pauper et nudus spiritu esse poterit ; 
et cum propheta dicere. 
Quia unicus et pauper sum ego. 

Nemo tamen isto ditior nemo potentior nemo liberior, 
qui se et omnia relinquere scit ; 
et ad infimum sc ponere. 



Cap. XII.— De Rf.gia Via .Sanctae Crucis. 

I. Durus multus videtur hie sermo abnega temet ipsum ; 
toUe crucem tuam, 
et sequere Jesum. 

Sedmulto durius erit audire illud extremum verbum ; 
discedite a me maledicti in ignem aeternum. 
Qui enim modo libenter audiunt et sequuntur verbum crucis : 
tunc non timebunt ab auditione aeiernae damnationis. 
Hoc signum crucis erit in caelo ; 
quum Dominus ad judicandum venerit. 

Tunc omnes sei^vi crucis qui se Crucifixo conformaverunt in vita ; 
accedcnt ad Christum judicem cum magna fiducia. 
(2uid igitur times tollere crucem : 
per quam itur ad regnum ? 

In cruce sahis, 
in cruce \ ita : 

in cruce protectio ab hostibus ; 
in cruce infusio supernae suavitatis : 
in cruce robur mentis, 
in cruce gaudium spiritus ; 
in cruce summa virtutis, 

( 142 ) 



Book II. CiiAr. XII. Of tiii-: Imitation of Christ. 

but let him in iruth acknowledge liimself to be an unprofitable 
as the Truth has said. [servant : 

When ye shall have done all those thin^^s which are commanded 
say, [you ; 

we are unprofitable servants. 

Then may he be truly stripped and poor in spirit ; 
and may say with the prophet. 
I am alone and poor. 

Yet no one is indeed richer than such a man none more powerful 
who knows how to leave himself and all things ; [none more free, 
and to put himself in the lowest place. 



Chapter XIL^-Of the Royal Road of the Holy Cross. 

I. To many this seems a hard saying, deny thyself; 
take up thy cross, 
and follow Jesus. 

Ikit much harder will it be to hear that last word ; 
depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire. 
For they who now gladly hear and follow the word of the cross ; 
will not then feel fear lest they hear of eternal damnation. 
This sign of the cross will be in heaven ; ["the Crucified ; 

wlicn the Lord shall come to judgment. l_themselves like to 

Then all the servants of the cross who in their lifetime have made 
will draw near to Christ the judge with great confidence. 
Why then fearest thou to take up thy cross : 
through which is the way to the kingdom ? 

In the cross is salvation, 
in the cross is life : 

in the cross is protection from enemies ; 
in the cross is infusion of sweetness from above: 
in the cross is strength of mind, 
in the cross is joy of spirit ; 
in the cross is the height of virtue, 

( 143 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. XII. 

in criice perfectio sanctitatis. 

Non est salus animae nee spes aeternae vitae ; 

nisi in cruce. 

Tolle ergo crucem tuam et sequere Jesum ; 

et ibis in vitam aeternam. 

Praecessit ille bajulans sibi crucem, 

et mortuus est pro te in cruce : 

at et tu tuam portes crucem ; 

et mori affectes in cruce. 

Quia si commortuus fueris ; 

etiam cum illo pariter vives. 

Et si socius fueris poenae ; 

eris et gloriae. 

Ecce in cruce totum constat, 
et in moriendo totum jacet : 

et non est alia via ad vitam et ad veram intetnam pacem; 
nisi via sanctae crucis et quotidianae mortificationis. 
Ambula ubi vis, 
quaere quodcumque volueris : 
et non invenies altiorem viam supra, 
nee securiorem \'iam infra ; 
nisi viam sanctae crucis. 

Dispone et ordina omnia secundum tuum velle et videre : 
et non invenies nisi semper aliquid pati debere, 
aut sponte aut invite ; 
et ita crucem semper invenies. 
Aut enim in corpore dolorem senties ; 
aut in anima spiritus tribulationem sustinebis. 
Interdum a Deo rchnqueris, 
interdum a proximo exercitaberis : 
et quod amplius est saepe tibimet ipsi gravis eris : 
nee tamen aliquo remedio vel solatio liberari sen alleviari poteris : 
sed donee Deus voluerit oportet ut sustineas. 
Vult enim Deus ut tribulationem sine consolatione pati discas: 
et ut illi totaliter te subjicias, 
et humilior ex tribulatione fias. 

( 144) 



Book II. Chap. .\1I. Ok the Imitation of Christ. 

in the cross is the perfection of sanctit)-. 

There is no health of the soul nor hope of eternal life ; 

but in the cross. 

Take up then thy cross and follow Jesus ; 

and thou shalt go into life everlasting. 

He went before thee carrying his own cross, 

and he died for thee upon the cross : 

that thou mightest also bear thy cross ; 

and long to die on the cross. 

For if thoudiest with him ; 

thou shalt also live with him. 

And if thou art partaker of his suffering ; 

thou shalt be also of his glory. 

Behold all is in the cross, 
and in dying lies all : 

and there is no other way to life and to true inward peace ; 
but the way of the holy cross and of daily mortification. 
Walk where thou wilt, 
seek what thou wilt : 
and thou wilt find no higher way above, 
no safer way below ; 
than the way of the holy cross. [seest : 

Dispose and order all things according as thou wilt and as thou 
and thou wilt never find but tliat thou hast always something to 
either willingly or unwillingly ; [suffer, 

and so wilt thou ever find the cross. 
For either thou wilt feel pain of body ; 
or bear in thy soul tribulation of spirit 
Sometimes thou wilt be forsaken of God, 

at other times thou wilt be tried by thy neighbour ; 'or solace • 

and what is more thou wilt often be a burthen to thyself: [remedy 
and yet thou canst not be freed from it or have it lightened by any 
but as long as it shall please God it behoves thee bear it. 
For God would have thee learn to suffer tribulation without comfort : 
and to submit thyself wholly to him, 
and to become more humble by tribulation. 

I. MS ) L 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. XII. 

Nemo ita cordialiter sentit passionem Christi ; 
sicut is cui contigerit similia pati. 

Crux ergo semper parata est ; 
et ubique te exspectat. 
Non potes effugere, 
ubicumque cucurreris : 

quia ubicumque veneris te ipsum tecum portas ; 
et semper te ipsum invenies. 
Converte te supra, 
converte te infra: 
converte te extra, 
converte te intra ; 

et in his omnibus invenies crucem : 
et necesse est te ubique tenere patientiam : 
si internam vis habere pacem, 
et perpetuam promereri coronam. 

II a. Si libenter crucem portas portabit te, 
et ducet ad desideratum finem, 
ubi scilicet finis patiendi erit ; 
quamvis hie non erit. 
Si invite portas onus tibi facis, 
et te ipsum magis gravas ; 
et tamen oportet ut sustineas. 
Si abjicis unam crucem, 
aliam procul dubio invenies ; 
et forsitan graviorem. 

Credis tu evadere : 
quod nuUus mortalium potuit praeterirc? 
Quis sanctorum in mundo sine cruce et tribulatione fuit? 
Nee enim Jesus Christus Dominus noster una hora sine dolore 
Oportebat ait Christum pati, [passionis fuit quamdiu vixit. 

et resurgere a mortuis ; 
et ita intrare in gloriam suam. 
Et quomodo tu aliam viam quacris : 
quam hanc rcgiam viam quae est via sanctae crucis? 
Tota vita Christi crux fuit et martyrium ; 

( 146 ) 



Hook 11. Chai>. XII. Of the Imitation or Christ. 

No man has so heartfelt a sense of the passion of Christ ; 
as he to whom it has befallen to suffer like things. 

The cross therefore is always ready ; 
and everywhere awaits thee. 
Thou canst not escape it, 
whithersoever thou runnest : 

for whithersoever thou goest thou carriest thyself with thee ; 
and always shalt thou find thyself. 
Turn thyself upwards, 
turn thyself downwards : 
turn thyself without, 
turn thyself within thee ; 
and everywhere thou shalt find the cross : 
and everywhere hast thou need of patience : 
if thou wouldest have interior peace, 
and merit a lasting crown. 

II a. If thou carry the cross willingly it will carry thee, 
and bring thee to thy wished-for end, 
thither to wit where there will be an end of suffering ; 
though here there will not be. 

If thou carry it unwillingly thou makest it a burthen to thee, 
and loadest thyself the more ; 
and still thou hast to bear it. 
If thou fling away one cross, 
without doubt thou wilt find another ; 
and perhaps a heavier. 

Dost thou think thou canst escape : 
that which no mortal could ever avoid ? 

What saint was ever in the world without his cross and tribulation ? 
For neither was Jesus Christ our Lord so long as he lived one 
It behoved saith he Christ to suffer, rsingle hour without the 

and to rise again from the dead ; [pain of his passion, 

and so enter into his glory. 
And how dost thou seek another way : 
than this royal way which is the way of the holy ci'oss ? 
The whole life of Christ was a cross and a martyrdom ; 

( 147 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cai'. XII. 

et tu tibi quaeris requiem et gaudium ? 
Erras erras si aliud quaeris quani pati tribulationes ; 
quia tota ista vita mortalis plena est miseriis et circumsignata 

[crucibus. 
Et quanto altius quis in spiritu profecerit tanto graviores saepe 

[cruces invenit ; 

quia exsilii sui poena magis ex amore crescit. 

II b. Sed tamen iste sic multipliciter afflictus, 
non est sine levamine consolationis ; 

quia fructum maximum sibi sentit accrescere ex sufferentia suae 
Nam dum sponte se illi subjicit ; [crucis. 

omne onus tribulationis in fiduciam divinae consolationis conver- 
Et quanto caro magis per afflictionem atteritur ; [titur. 

tanto spiritus amplius per internam gratiam roboratur. 
Et nonnumquam in tantum confortatur ex affectu tribulationis et 
ut se sine dolore et tribulatione esse non vellet : adversitatis ob 
quoniam tanto se acceptiorem Deo credit ; amorem confor- 

quanto plura et graviora pro eo perferre potuerit. mitatis crucis 

Non est istud hominis virtus sed gratia Christi ; [Christi ; 
quae tanta potest et agit in carne fragili : 
ut quod naturaliter semper abhorret et fugit ; 
hoc fervore spiritus aggrediatur et diligat. 
Non est secundum hominem crucem portare, 
crucem amare : 

corpus castigare et servituti subjiccre ; 
honores fugere, 

contumelias libenter sustinere : 
se ipsum despicere, 
et despici optare ; 

adversa quaeque cum damnis perpeti, 
et nihil prosperitatis in hoc mundo desiderare. 
Si ad te ipsum respicis ; 
nihil hujusmodi ex le potcris. 
Sed si in Domino confidis, 
dabitur tibi fortitudo de caelo ; 
et subjicientur dilioni tuae mundus et caro. 

( 148 ) 



Book II. Ciiat. XII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and dost thou seek for thyself rest and joy ? [suffer tribulations ; 
Thou errest thou errest if thou seekest any other thing than to 
for this whole mortal life is full of miseries and all signed around 

[with crosses. 
And the higher a man is advanced in spirit the heavier crosses 

[does he often meet with ; 
because the pain of liis exile increases in proportion to his love. 

1 1 b. Yet this man thus many ways atllicted, I his cross, 
is not without some allay of consolation ; [him by bearing 

because he is sensible of the very great reward which accrues to 
For v.-hilst he willingly resigns himself to it ; 

all the burthen of tribulation is converted into trust of consolation 
And the more the flesh is worn down by affliction ; [from God. 

the more the spirit is strengthened by inward grace. 
And not unfrequently it gains such strength from its desire of tribu- 
that it would not be without suffering and affliction : lation and 
because the more it believes itself acceptable to God; adversity by 
the more and greater things can it bear for him. reason of its 

This is not the virtue of man but the grace of Christ ; loving to be 
whichcananddoes effect such great things infrail flesh: conformedto 
that what it naturally ever abhors and flies ; the cross of 

even this through fervourof spirit it attempts and loveslChrist ; 
It is not after the way of man to bear tlie cross, 
to love the cross : 

to chastise the body and bring it under subjection : 
to fly honours, 

to be willing to suffer reproaches : 
to despise self, 
and choose to be despised ; 
to bear all adversities and losses, 
and to desire no prosperity in this world. 
If thou lookest to thyself; 
thou canst of thyself do nothing of this kind. 
But if thou trust in the Lord, 
strength will be given thee from heaven ; 
and the world and the flesh will be made subject to thy sway. 

( 149 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. XI 1. 

Sed nee inimicum diabolum timebis ; 
si fueris fide armatus et criice Christi signatus. 
Pone te ergo sicut bonus et fidelis servus Christi ad portandum 

[virihter crucem Domini tui ; 
pro te ex amore crucifixi. 

Praepara te ad toleranda niulta adversa ct varia incommoda in hac 
quia sic tecum erit ubicumque fueris ; [misera vita : 

et sic revera invenies ubicumque latueris. 
Oportet ita esse : 

et non est remedium evadendi a tribulatione malorum et dolore ; 
quam ut te patiaris. 
Cahcem Domini affectanter bibe ; 
si amicus ejus esse et partem cum eo habere desideras. 
Consolationes Deo committe ; 

fiiciat ipse cum tahbus sicut sibi magis placuerii. [mas consolationes: 
Tu vero pone te ad sustinendum tribulationes et reputa eas maxi- 
quia non sunt condignae passiones hujus temporis ad futuram 
etiamsi solus omnes posses sustinere. [gloriam promerendam ; 

III. Quando ad hoc veneris quod tribulatio tibi dulcis est et 
tunc bene tecum esse aestima ; [sapit pro Christo : 

quia invenisti paradisum in terra. 
Ouamdiu pati grave tibi est et fugere quaeris : 
tamdiu male habebis ; 
et sequetur te ubique fuga tribulationis. 
Si ponis te ad quod esse debes : 
videlicet ad patiendum et moriendum ; 
fiet cito melius et pacem invenies. 

Etiamsi raptus fueris usque ad tertium caelum cum Paulo : 
non es propterea securatus de nullo contrario patiendo. 
Ego inquit Jesus ostendam illi ; 
quanta oporteat cum pro nomine meo pati. 
Pati ergo tibi remanet ; 

si Jesum diligere et perpetuc illi servire placet. 
Utinam dignus esses aliquid pro nomine Jesu pati : 
quam magna gloria remaneret tibi : 
quanta exsultatio omnibus Sanctis Dei ; 

( 150 ) 



Book II, Chai'. XII. Of the Imitation oi Christ. 

Nay thou wilt not even fear thine enemy the devil ; 
if thou art armed with faith and signed with the cross of Christ. 
Set thyself then like a good and faithful servant of Christ to 

[bear manfully the cross of thy Lord ; 
who out of his love was crucified for thee. 

Prepare thyself to suffer many adversities and divers evils in this 
for so it will be with thee wherever thou art ; [miserable life : 

;ind so indeed wilt thou find it wheresoever thou hidest thyself. 
It must be so : 

and there is no remedy for escaping from the trouble of evils and 
but to bear with thyself. [sorrow ; 

Drink of the chalice of thy Lord lovingly ; 
if thou desirest to be his friend and to have part with him. 



consolations : 
greatest 



Leave consolations to God ; 

let him do with such gifts as best pleases him. 

But prepare thou thyself to bear tribulations and account them the 

for the sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared with 

even if thou alone couldest suffer them all. [the glory to come ; 

IIL When thou shalt have attained to this that tribulation 
then reckon that it is well with thee ; ["becomes sweet and savoury 
forthouhastfoundparadiseupon earth, [to thee for the love of Christ : 
As long as suffering seems grievous to thee and thou seekest to fly 
so long will it be ill with thee ; [from it : 

and the tribulation from which thou fliest will everywhere follow 
If thou set tliyself to what thou oughtest to be : [thee, 

that is to suffering and to dyin;^ ; 
it will quickly be better with thee and thou wilt find peace, [with Paul: 

Although thou mayest have been caught up to the third heaven 
thou art not thereby made secure against suffering any thing thou 
I saith Jesus will show him ; [wouldesl not. 

how great things it behoves him to suffer for my name's sake. 
What remains for thee therefore is to suffer ; 
if thou wilt love Jesus and constantly serve him. 
Would thou wert worthy to suffer something for the name of Jesus ; 
how great a glory would await thee : 
how great joy would be to all the saints of God ; 

( 151 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. II. Cap. XII. 

quanta quoque aedificatio esset proximi. 

Nam patientiam onines recommendant ; 

quamvis pauci tamen pati velint. 

Merito deberes libenter modicum pati pro Christo ; 

quum multi graviora patiuntur pro mundo. 

IV. Scias pro certo ; 
quia morientem te oportet ducere vitam. 
Et quanto quisque plus sibi moritur ; 
tanto magis Deo vivere incipit. 
Nemo aptus est ad comprehendendum caelestia ; 
nisi se submiserit ad portandum pro Christo adversa. 
Nihil Deo acceptius nihil tibi salubrius in mundo isto ; 
quam libenter pati pro Christo. 
Et si eligendum tibi esset ; 

magis optare deberes pro Christo adversa pati quam multis conso- 

[lationibus recreari : 
quia Christo similior esses ; fconsolationibus ; 

et omnibus Sanctis magis conformior. [suavitatibus et 

Nonenim stat meritum nostrum et profectus status nostri in multis 
sed potius in magnis gravitatibus et tribulationibus perferendis. 

Siquidem aliquid melius et utilius saluti hominum quam pati 

[fuisset ; 
Christus utique verbo et exemplo ostendisset. 
Nam et sequentes se discipulos, 
omnesque eum sequi cupientes ; 
nianifeste ad crucem portandam hortatur et dicit. 
Si quis vult venire post me ; 

abneget semetipsum et toUat crucem suam et sequatur me. 
Omnibus ergo perlectis et scrutatis ; 
sit haec conclusio finalis. 
Quoniam per multas tribulationes ; 
oportet nos intrare in regnum Dei. 



( 152) 



Book 11. Chap. Xll. Of hie Imitation ov Christ. 

and how great edification moreover to thy neighljour. 

For all praise patience ; 

but how few are there that desire to suffer. 

With good reason oughtest thou willingly to suffer a little for 

since many suffer greater things for the world. [Christ ; 

IV. Know for certain ; 
that thou must lead a dying life. 
And the more a man dies to himself; 
the more he begins to live to God. 
No man is fit to comprehend heavenly things ; 
who has not resigned himself to bear adversities for Christ. 
Nothing is more acceptable to God nothing more wholesome for 
than to suffer willingly for Christ. [thee in this world ; 

And if thou hadst to choose ; 

thou shouldest prefer to suffer adversities for Christ rather than to 

[be refreshed with many consolations : 
because thou wouldest be more like to Christ ; fand consolations ; 
and more conformed to all the saints. [many sweetnesses 

For our merit and the advancement of our state consist not in 
but rather in bearing great afflictions and tribulations. 

For surely if there had been anything better and more useful to 

[the salvation of man than suffering ; 
Christ would certainly have shown it by word and example. 
For both the disciples who were following him, 
and all that desire to follow him ; 
he manifestly exhorts to bear the cross, saying. 
If any man will come after me ; 

let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 
Having then read and searched out all ; 
be this our last conclusion. 
That through many tribulations ; 
we must enter into the kingdom of God. 



( 153 ) 



DE INTERNA CONSOLx^TIONE. 

LIBER TERTIUS. 



OF INTERIOR CONSOLATION. 



BOOK III. 



Dr Imitatione Christi. Lin. III. Cap. I. 



LIB. in. 

Cap, I.— De Interna Christi Locutione ad Animam 

FlDELEM. 

I. Audiam quid loquatur in me Dominus Deus. 
Beata anima quae Dominum in se loquentem audit ; 
et de ore ejus consolationis verbum accipit. 
Beatae aures quae venas divini susurri suscipiunt ; 
et de mundi hujus susurrationibus nihil advertunt. 
Beatae plane aures quae non vocem foris sonantem ; 
sad intus auscultant veritatem docentem. 

Beati oculi ; 

qui exterioribus clausi, 

interioribus autem sunt intcnti. 

Beati qui interna penetrant ; 

et ad capienda arcana caelestia, 

magis ac magis per quotidiana exercitia se student praeparare. 

Beati qui Deo vacare gestiunt ; 

et ab omni impedimento saeculi sc excutiunt. 

II. Animadverte haec anima mea : 
et claude sensualitatis tuae ostia ; 

ut possis audire quid in te loquatur Dominus Deus tuus. 

Haec dicit dilectus tuus. 
S<alus tua ego sum ; 
pax tua et vita tua. 
Serva te apud me ; 
et pacem invenies. 
Dimitte omnia transitoria ; 
quaere aeterna. 
Quid sunt omnia temporalia : 
nisi seductoria.'' 
Et quid juvant omnes creaturae : 

( 156 ) 



150UK HI. Chap. I. Of thk Imitation of Chiust. 



BOOK 111. 

Chapter I.— Of ihi-: Speaking of Christ Inwardly to the 

Faithful Soul. 

I. I will hear what the Lord God will speak in me. 
Blessed is that soul which hears the Lord speaking within her; 
and from his mouth receives the word of consolation. 

Blessed the ears which receive the instillings of the divine whisper; 

and take no notice of the whisperings of the world. 

Blessed indeed are the ears which hearken not to the voice which 

but to the truth teaching within. [sounds without ; 

Blessed the eyes ; 

which are closed to outward things, 

but are fi.xed on things within. 

Blessed are they who enter into the things that are within ; 

and for attaining to heavenly secrets, 

endeavour to prepare themselves more and more by daily e.\ercises. 

Blessed are they who seek to give their whole time to God ; 

and who rid themselves of every hindrance from the world. 

II. Take heed to these things O my soul : 
and shut the door of thy senses ; 

that thou mayest hear what ihc Lord thy God speaks within ihce. 

Thus saith thy beloved. 
I am thy salvation ; 
thy peace and thy life. 
Abide in me ; 
and thou shalt find peace. 
Let all transitory things go their way : 
seek thou the things eternal. 
What are all temporal things : 
but deceitful ? 
And what will all things created avail thee : 

( 157 ) 



De Imitatione Chkisti. Lik III. Cap. II. 

si fueris a creatore deserta ? 

Omnibus ergo abdicatis, 
creatori tuo te redde placitam ac fidelem ; 
ut veram valeas apprehendere beatitudinem. 



Cap. II.— Quod Veritas intus Loquitur sine Strepitu 

Verborum. 

I. Loquere Domine ; 
quia audit servus tuus. 
Servus tuus sum ego ; 

da mihi intellectum ut sciam testimonia tua. 
Inclina cor meum in verlja oris tui ; 
fluat ut ros eloquium tuum. 

Dicebant olim filii Israel ad Moysen. 
Loquere tu nobis et audiemus : 
non loquatur nobis Dominus ; 
ne forte moriamur. 
Non sic Domine non sic oro ; 

sed magis cum Samuele propheta humiliter ac desideranter ob- 
Loquere Domine quia audit servus tuus. [secro. 

II. Non loquatur mihi Moyses aut aliquis e.x prophetis ; 

sed tu potius loquere Domine Deus inspirator et illuminator 

quia tu solus sine eis potes me perfecte imbuere ; romnium 

illi autem sine te nihil proficient. [prophetarum : 

Possunt quidem verba sonare ; 
sed spiritum non conferunt. 
Pulchriter dicunt ; 
sed te tacente cor non accendunt. 
Literas tradunt ; 
sed tu sensum aperis. 
Mysteria proferunt ; 

( 158 ) 



Book III. Chap. II. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

if thou be forsaken by the Creator? 

Renounce thou then all earthly thin;^s, 
and make thyself pleasing to the Creator and faithful to him ; 
that so thou mayest lay hold on true happiness. 



Chapticr II.— That Truth Speaks within us without 

Noise of Words. 

I. Speak Lord ; 

for thy servant heareth. 

I am th)- servant ; 

give me understanding that I may know thy testimonies. 

Incline my heart to the words of thy mouth ; 

let thy speech distil as the dew. 

The children of Israel said to Moses of old time. 
Speak thou to us and we will hear : 
let not the Lord speak to us ; 
lest we die. 

Not thus O Lord not thus do I pray ; 

but rather with Samuel the prophet I humbly and longingly entreat. 
Speak Lord for thy servant heareth. 

II. Let not Moses nor any prophet speak to me ; 

but speak thou rather O Lord God who art the inspirer and en- 



tor thou alone without them canst perfectly instruct me ; 
but they without thee will avail nothing. 
They may indeed sound forth words ; 
but they do not add to them the spirit. 
They speak well ; 

but if thou be silent they do not set the heart on fire. 
They deliver the letter ; 
but thou openest the sense. 
They bring forth the mysteries ; 

< 159 ) 



lightener 
of all the 
prophets : 



De Imitatioxe Christi. Lib. III. Cap. Ill, 

sed tu reseras intellectum signatorum. 

Mandata edicunt ; 

sed tu juvas ad perficiendum. 

Viam ostendunt ; 

sed tu confortas ad ambulandum. 

Illi foris tantum agunt ; 

sed tu corda instruis et illuminas. 

Illi exterius rigant ; 

sed tu fecunditatem donas. 

Illi clamant verbis ; 

sed tu auditui intelligentiam tribuis. 

Non ergo loquatur mihi Moyses sed tu Domine Deus aeterna 
ne forte moriar et sine fructu efficiar, [veritas ; 

si fuero tantum foris admonitus et intus non accensus : 
ne sit mihi ad judicium verbum auditum et non factum, 
cognitum nee amatum ; 
creditum et non servatum. 

Loquere igitur Domine quia audit servus tuus ; f emendationem ; 
verba enim vitae aeternae habes. [totius vitae meae 

Loquere mihi ad qualemcumque animae meae consolationem et ad 
tibi autem ad laudem et gloriam et perpetuum honorem. 



Cap. III.— Quod Vkrba Dei cum Humilitate sunt Audi- 

ENDA, ET QUOD MULTI EA NON PONDER ANT. 

I. Audi fill verba mea verba suavissima; 
omnium philosophorum et sapientium hujus mundi scientiam 
Verba mea spiritus et vita sunt ; [excedentia. 

nee humano sensu pensanda. 
Non sunt ad vanam complacentiam trahenda : 
sed in silentio audienda ; 
et cum omni humilitate atque magno affectu suscipienda. 

Et dixi. 
Beatus quem tu erudieris Domine ; 

I 1 60 ) 



Book III. Ciiap. III. Ok the Imitation of CiiRibi". 

but thou bringest out the sense of the things signified. 

They proclaim the commandments ; 

but thou enablest us to fulfil them. 

They show the way ; 

but thou givest strength to walk in it. 

They work only outwardly ; 

but thou instructest and enlightenest the henrt. 

They water outwardly ; 

but thou givest the increase. 

They cry out with words ; 

but thou givest understanding to the hearing. 

Let not then Moses speak to me but thou O Lord God eternal 
lest perchance I die and be made without fruit, [truth ; 

if I be only outwardly admonished and not enkindled within : 
lest the word rise up in judgment against me which I have heard 
known and not loved ; [and not fulfilled, 

believed and not kept. 
Speak then Lord for thy servant heareth ; 

for thou hast the words of eternal life. [of my whole life ; 

.Speak to me for some comfort to my soul and for the amendment 
and to thy praise and glory and everlasting honour. 



Chapter IIL— That the Words of God are to be Heard 
WITH Humility, and that ^Lanv weigh them not. 

L Hear my words my son words most sweet • 
exceeding all the learning of the philosophers and of the wise men 
My words are spirit and life ; [oi this world. 

and not to be weighed by man's understanding. 
They are not to be perverted for a vain self-conceit : 
but are to be heard in silence ; 
and received with all humility and great affection. 

And I said. 
Blessed is the man whom thou O Lord hast instructed : 

( i6i ) M 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. III. 

et de lege tua docueris eumt. 
Ut mitiges ei a diebus malis ; 
et non desoletur in terra. 

[non cesso omnibus loqui ; 

II. Ego inquit Dominus docui prophetas ab initio et usque nunc 
sed multi ad vocem meam surdi sunt et duri. 
Plures mundum libentius audiunt quam Deum : 
facilius sequuntur carnis suae appetitum ; 
quam Dei beneplacitum. 

Promittit mundus temporalia et parva et servitur ei aviditate 
ego promitto summa et aeterna ; [magna : 

et torpescunt mortalium corda. 
Quis tanta cura mihi in omnibus servit et obedit : 
sicut mundo et dominis ejus servitur? 
Erubesce Sidon ait mare. 
Et si causam quaeris ; 
audi quare. 

Pro modica praebenda longa via curritur ; 
pro aeterna vita a multis vix pes semel a terra levatur. 
Vile pretium quaeritur, 

pro uno numismate interdum turpiter litigatur : 
pro vana re et parva promissione die noctuque fatigarinon timetur; 
sed proh pudor pro bono incommutabili pro praemio inaestimabili, 

pro summo honore et gloria interminabili vel ad modicum fatigari 

[pigritatur. 
Erubesce ergo serve piger et querulose : 
quod illi paratiores inveniuntur ad perditionem ; 
quam tu ad vitam. 
Gaudent illi amplius ad vanitatem ; 
quam tu ad veritatem. 

Equidem a spe sua nonnumquam frustrantur : 
sed promissio mea neminem fallit; 
nee confidentem mihi dimittit inanem. 
Quod promisi dabo : 
quod dixi implebo ; 

si tamen usque in fincm fidelis in dilectione mea quis permanserit. 

( 162 ) 



Book III. Chap. III. Of the imitation of Ciiuist. 

and taught out of thy law. 

That thou mayest give him rest from the evil days ; 

and that he may not be desolate upon the earth. 

[ning and even till now I cease not to speak to all ; 

II. I saith the Lord have taught the prophets from the begin- 
but many are deaf to my voice and hard. 
Most men give ear more gladly to the world than to God : 
and more readily follow the desires of the flesh ; 
than the good pleasure of God. [served with great eagerness : 

The world promises things temporal and of small value and is 
I promise things most excellent and everlasting; 
and the hearts of men are listless. 

Who is there that serves and obeys me in all things with that great 
with which the world and its lords are served ? [care : 

Be thou ashamed O Sidon saith the sea. 
And if thou ask the reason ; 
hear why. 

For scanty preferment men run a great way ; 

for eternal life many will scarce move their foot once from the 
A pitiful gain is sought after, [ground, 

for one piece of money there is sometimes shameful wrangling : 
men do not shrink from toiling day and night for a trifle or some 
but oh shame for the good which never [slight promise ; 

[changes for the reward beyond all price, 
for the highest honour and the glory which has no end they are 

[too sluggish to take the least pains. 
Blush then thou slothful servant who art ever complaining : 
because they are more ready to labour for death ; 
than thou art for life. 

They rejoice more in running after vanity ; 
than thou after truth. 

They in truth are oft times disappointed of their hope : 
but my promise deceives no man ; 
nor sends him away empty who trusts in me. 
What I have promised I will give : 
what I have said I will fulfil ; 
if only a man continue to the end faithful in my love. 

( 163 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. III. 

Ego remunerator sum omnium bonorum ; 
et fortis probator omnium devotorum. 

Scribe verba mea in corde tuo et pertracta diligenter ; 
crunt enim in tempore tentationis valde necessaria. 
Quod non intelligis quum legis ; 
cognosces in die visitationis. 
Dupliciter soleo electos meos visitare ; 
tentatione scilicet et consolatione. 
Et duas lectiones eis quotidie lego : 
unam increpando eorum vitia ; 
alteram exhortando ad viriutum incrementa. 

Qui habet verba mea et spernit ca ; 
habet qui judicet eum in novissimo die. 

III. Oratio ad implor.andam devotionis gkatiam. 

Domine Deus meus omnia bona mea tu es. 
Et quis ego sum ut audeam ad te loqui ? 
Ego sum pauperrimus servailus tuus et abjectus vermiculus ; 
multo pauperior et contemptibilior quam scio et dicere audeo. 

Memento tamen Domine; 
quia nihil sum, 
nihil habeo, 
nihilque valeo. 

Tu solus bonus Justus et sanctus : 
tu omnia potes, 
omnia praestas omnia imples ; 
solum peccatorem inanem relinquens. 
Reminiscere miserationum tuarum, 
et imple cor meum gratia tua ; 
qui non vis esse vacua opera tua. 
Quomodo possum me tolerare in hac misera vita : 
nisi me confortaveris misericordia et gratia tua ? 

Noli avertere faciem tuam a me, 
noli visitationem tuam prolongate : 
noli consolationem tuam abstrahere ; 
ne fiat anima mea sicut terra sine aqua tibi. 
Domine doce me facere voluntatem tunm ; 

( 164 ) 



Book III. Chap. III. Of the Imitation of Cfkist. 

I am the rewarder of all the good ; 
and keenly test all the devout. 

Write my words in thy heart and ponder them diligently ; 
for they will be very necessary in the time of temptation. 
What thou understandest not when thou readest ; 
that thou shalt know in the day of visitation. 
In two ways I am wont to visit my elect ; 
namely by trials and by consolation. 
And day by day I read them two lessons : 
one by rebuking their vices ; 
the other by exhorting them to the increase of virtues. 

He who has my words and slights them : 
has that which shall judge him at the last day. 

III. A PRAYER TO IMPLORE THE GRACE OF DEVOTION. 

O Lord my God thou art all my good. 
And who am I that I should presume to speak to thee? 
I am thy least thy poorest servant and a wretched little worm ; 
poorer far and more contemptible than I know or dare e.xpress. 

Yet remember O Lord ; 
that I am nothing, 
I have nothing, 
and can do nothing. 
Thou alone art good just and holy : 
thou canst do all things, 
thou givest all things thou fiUest all things ; 
leaving only the sinner empty. 
Remember thy mercies, 
and fill my heart with thy grace; 

thou who wiliest not that thy works should be in vain. 
How can I bear myself in this wretched life : 
unless thou givest me strength by thy mercy and grace ? 

Turn not thy face from me, 
delay not thy visitation : 
withdraw not thy comfort ; 

lest my soul become as earth without water unto thee. 
O Lord teach me to do thy will ; 

( 165 ; 



De Lmitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. IV". 

doce me coram te digne et humiliter conversari : 
quia sapientia mea tu es qui in veritate me cognoscis ; 
et cognovisti antequam fiei'et mundus et antequam natus essem in 

[mundo. 



Cap. IV.— Quod in Veritate et Humilitate coram Deo 

CONVERSANDUM EST. 

I. Fili. 

Ambula coram me in veritate ; 

et in simplicitate cordis tui quaere me semper. 

Qui ambulat coram me in veritate : 

lutabitur ab incursibus malis ; 

et Veritas liberabit eum a seductoribus et detractionibus iniqucrum. 

Si Veritas te liberaverit vere liber eris ; 

et non curabis de vanis hominum verbis. 

D online verum est. 
Sicut dicis, 

ita quaeso mecum fiat. 
Veritas tua me doceat : 
ipsa me custodiat ; 

et usque ad salutarem finem conservet. 

Ipsa me liberet ab omni affectione mala et inordinata dilectione ; 
et ambulabo tecum in magna cordis libertate. 

II. Ego te docebo ait Veritas quae recta sunt ; 
et placita coram me. 

Cogita peccata tua cum displicentia magna et moerore ; 
et numquam reputes te aliquid esse propter opera bona. 

Revera peccator es ; 
et multis passionibus obnoxius et implicatus. 
Ex te semper ad nihil tendis : 
cito lal^eris, 

( i66 ) 



Book III. Chai'. IV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

teach me to walk worthily and humbly before thee : 
for thou art my wisdom who knowest me in truth ; 
and who knewest me before the world was made and before I was 

[born in the world. 



Chapter IV.— That we ought to Walk in Truth and 
Humility before God. 

I. Son. 

Walk before me in truth ; 

and always seek me in the singleness of thy heart. 

He who walks before me in truth : 

shall be secured from evil assaults ; [of the wicked. 

and truth shall make him free from deceivers and from the malice 

If truth shall make thee free thou shalt indeed be free ; 

and wilt not heed the vain words of men. 

Lord this is true. 
As thou sayest, 

so I pray let it be done with me. 
Let thy truth teach me : 
let it be my guard ; 

and keep me till I come to my blessed end. 

Let it set me free from every evil affection and from all inordinate 
and I shall walk with thee in great freedom of heart. [love ; 

II. I will teach thee saith the Truth what things are right ; 
and pleasing in my sight. 

Think on thy sins with great displeasure and grief ; 
and never esteem thyself to be anything because of thy good works. 

Thou art indeed a sinner ; 
subject to and entangled with many passions. 
Of thyself thou always tendest to nothing : 
thou soon fallest, 

( 167 ) 



De Imitatione Chkisti. Lib. III. Cap. IV. 

cito vinceris ; 

cito turbaris, 

cito dissolveris. 

Non habes quidquam unde possis gloriari : 

sed multa unde te debeas vilificare ; 

quia muko infirmior es quam vales comprehendere. 

Nil ergo magnum tibi videatur ex omnibus quae agis. 
Nil grande nil pretiosum et admirabile, 
nil reputatione appareat dignum : 
nil altum nil vere laudabile et desiderabile ; 
nisi quod aeternum est. 
Placeat tibi super omnia aeterna Veritas ; 
displiceat tibi semper tua maxima vilitas. 
Nil sic timeas sic vituperes et fugias, 
sicut vitia et peccata tua ; 
quae magis displicere debent quam quaelibet rerum damna. 

Quidam non sincere coram me ambulant : 
sed quadam curiositate et arroganiia ducti volunt secreta mea scire 

[et alta Dei intelligere : 
se et suam salutem negligentes. 

Hi saepe in magnas tentationes et peccata propter suam superbiam 
Time judicia Dei ; [et curiositatem me eis adversante 

expavesce iram Omnipotentis. [labuntur. 

Noli autem discutere opera Altissimi : 
sed tuas iniquitates perscrutare in quantis deliquisti; 
et quam multa bona neglexisti. 

Quidam solum portant suam devotionem in libris : 
quidam in imaginibus ; 

quidam autem in signis exterioribus et figuris. 
Quidam habent me in ore ; 
sed modicum est m corde. 

Sunt alii qui intellectu illuminati et afifectu purgati ad aeterna 
de terrenis graviter audiunt, [semper anhelant : 

necessitatibus naturae dolenter inserviunt ; 
et hi sentiunt quid spiritus veritatis loquitur in eis : 

( i68 ) 



Book HI. Chap. IV. Of tiil. Imitation of Christ. 

art soon overcome ; 

soon disturbed, 

soon utterly unnerved. 

Thou hast not anything in which thou canst glory : [repute ; 

but many things for which thou oughtest to hold thyself of small 

for thou art much weaker than thou art able to comprehend. 

Let nothing then of all thou doest seem much to thee. 
Let nothing appear great nothing precious or admirable, 
nothing worthy of esteem : 

nothing high nothing truiy praiseworthy or desirable ; 
but what is eternal. 

Let the eternal Truth please thee above all things ; 
let thine own utter vileness ever displease thee. 
Fear nothing so much blame and shun nothing so much, 
as thy vices and sins ; 
which ought to displease thee more than any loss of goods. 

Some men walk not sincerely before me : 
but induced by a certain curiosity and pride desire to know my 
[secret things and to understand the high things of God ; 
neglecting themselves and their own salvation. 
These often fall into great temptations and sins through their pride 
Fear the judgments of God ; [and curiosity since I resist them, 
tremljle before the anger of the Almighty. [Most High : 

Presume not however to inquire closely into the works of the 
but search into thine own iniquities in how many things thou hast 
and how much good thou hast neglected. [offended ; 

Some carry their devotion in their books only : 
some in pictures ; 



things eternal : 

tion always pant after 

purified in their affec- 



and some in outward signs and figures. 
Some have me on their lips ; 
but little in their heart. 

There are others who enlightened in their understanding and 
hear of earthly things with reluctance, 
and grieve to be subject to the necessities of nature ; 
and these feel what the spirit of truth speaks in them : 

( 169 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. V. 

quia docet eos terrena despiceie, 

et amare caelestia ; 

mundum negligere, 

et caelum tota die ac nocte desiderare. 



Cap, v.— De Mirabili Effectu Divini 
Amoris. 

I. Benedico te Pater caelestis Pater Domini mei Jesu Christi ; 
quia mei pauperis dignatus es recordari. 

O Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis gratias tibi ; 
qui me indignum omni consolatione quandoque tua recreas conso- 

[latione. 
Benedico te semper et glorifico cum unigenito Filio tuo et Spiritu 
in saecula saeculorum. [Sancto paraclito ; 

Eia Domine Deus amator sancte meus, 
quum tu veneris in cor meum ; 
exsultabunt omnia interiora mea. 
Tu es gloria mea ; 
et exsultatio cordis mei. 
Tu spes mea et refugium meum ; 
in die tribulatlonis meae. 

Sed quia adhuc debilis sum in amore et imperfectus in virtute ; 
ideo necesse habeo a te confortari et consolari. 
Propterea visita me saepius et instrue disciplinis Sanctis : 
libera me a passionibus malis ; 

et sana cor meum ab omnibus affectionibus inordinatis : 
ut intus sanatus et bene purgatus aptus efficiar ad amanduni ; 
fortis ad patiendum, 
stabilis ad perseverandum. 

II. Magna res est amor, 
magnum omnino bonum : 

quod solum leve facit omne onerosum ; 
et fert aequaliter omne inaequale. 

( 170 ) 



Hook III. Chap. V. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

for it teaches them to despise the things of the earth, 

and to love heavenly things ; 

to disregard the world, 

and all the day and night to long for heaven. 



Chapter V.— Of the Wonderful Effect of 
Divine Love. 

I. I bless thee heavenly Father, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ; 
because thou hast vouchsafed to be mindful of so poor a wretch as L 

Father of mercies and God of all comfort I give thanks to thee ; 
who art sometimes pleased to refresh with thy consolation me who 

[am unworthy of any consolation. 

1 bless thee and glorify thee evermore together with thy only- 
to all eternity, [begotten Son and the Holy Ghost the Comforter ; 
Come then Lord God holy one that lovest me, 

for when thou shalt come into my heart ; 

all that is within me will leap with joy. 

Thou art my glory ; 

and the rejoicing of my heart. 

Thou art m)- hope and my refuge ; 

in the day of my tribulation. 

But because I am as yet weak in love and imperfect in virtue ; 
therefore do I stand in need of being strengthened and comforted 
Wherefore visit me again and again and instruct me by [by thee. 
free me from evil passions ; [all holy discipline : 

and heal my heart of all inordinate affections : 
that being inwardly healed and thoroughly cleansed I may become 
strong to suffer, [fit to love ; 

constant to persevere. 

II. Love is a great thing, 
a great good indeed : 

which alone makes light all that is burthensome ; 
and bears with even mind all that is uneven. 

( 171 ) 



De Imitatioxe Christi. Lib. III. Cap. V. 

Nam onus sine onere portat ; 

et omne amarum dulceac sapidum efficit. 

Amor Jesu nobilis ad magna operanda impellit ; 

et ad desideranda semper perfectiora excitat. 

Amor vult esse sursum ; 

nee uUis infimis rebus retineri. 

Amor vult esse liber, 

et ab omni mundana alTectione alienus ; 

ne internus ejus impediatur aspectus : 

ne per aliquod commodum temporale implicationes sustineat ; 

aut per incommodum succumbat. 

Nihil dulcius est amore : 
nihil fortius, 
nihil altius nihil latius ; 

nihil jucundius nihil plenius nee melius in caelo et in terra : 
quia amor ex Deo natus est ; 

nee potest nisi in Deo super omnia areata quiescere, 
Amans volat currit et laetatur : 
liber est et non tenetur. 
Dat omnia pro omnibus : 
et haljet omnia in omnibus : 
quia in uno summo super omnia quiescit ; 
ex quo omne bonum fluit et procedit. 
Non respicit ad dona ; 
sed ad donantem se convertit super omnia bona. 

Amor modum saepe nescit ; 
sed super omnem modum fervescit. 
Amor onus non sentit ; 
labores non reputat, 
plus affectat quam valet : 
de impossibilitate non causatur ; 
quia cuncta sibi posse et licere arbitratur. 
Valet igitur ad omnia : 
et multa implet et eftectui mancipat; 
ubi non amans deficit et jacet 

( 172 ) 



Book III. Chap. V. Of thl, Lmitation of Christ. 

For it carries a burthen without being burthened ; 

and it makes all that which is bitter sweet and savoury. 

The love of Jesus is noble and spurs us on to do great things ; 

and excites us to desire always things more perfect. 

Love desires to have its abode above ; 

and not to be kept back by things below. 

Love desires to be at liberty, 

and estranged from all worldly affection ; 

lest its inner view be hindered : 

lest it suffer itself to be entangled through some temporal interest ; 

or give way through mishap. 



Nothing is sweeter than love : 
nothing stronger, 
nothing higher nothing broader ; 

nothing more pleasant nothing fuller or better in heaven and in 
for love is born of God ; [earth : 

and can rest only in God above all things created. 
The lover flies runs and rejoices : 
he is free and not held. 
He gives all for all : 
and has all in all : 

because he rests in one supreme above all ; 
from whom all good flows and proceeds. 
He looks not at the gifts ; 
but turns himself above all goods to the giver. 

Love often knows no measure ; 
but warmly glows above all measure. 
Love feels no burthen ; 
regards not labours, 
would willingly do more than it is able : 
pleads not impossibility ; 

because it feels sure that it can and may do all things. 
It is able therefore to do all things : 

and it makes good many deficiencies and frees many things for 
where he who loves not faints and lies down. [being carried out ; 

( 173 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. V. 

Amor vigilat et dormiens non dormitat : 

fatigatus non lassatur, 

artatus non artatur, 

territus non conturbatur ; 

sed sicut vivax flamma et ardens facula sursum erumpit secureque 

Si quis amat ; [pertransit. 

novit quid haec vox clamet. 

Magnus clamor in auribus Dei est ; 

ipse ardens afFectus animae, 

quae dicit. 

Deus meus amor meus ; 

tu totus meus, 

et ego totus tuus. 

Dilata me in amore : 
ut discam interiori cordis ore degustare quam suave sit amare ; 
et in amore liquefieri et natare. 
Tenear amore ; 

vadens supra me prae nimio fervore et stupore. 
Cantem amoris canticum, 
sequar te dilectum meum in altum ; 
deficiat in laude tua anima mea jubilans ex amore. 
Amem te plus quam me, 
nee me nisi propter te, 
et omnes in te qui vere amant te ; 
sicut jubet lex amoris lucens ex te. 

Est amor velox sincerus pius jucundus et anioenus : 
fortis patiens fidelis, 
prudens longanimis virilis ; 
et se ipsum numquam quaerens. 
Ubi enim se ipsum aliquis quaerit ; 
ibi ab amore cadiL 

Est amor circumspectus humilis et rectus : 
non mollis non levis nee vanis intendens rebus ; 
sobrius castus stabilis quietus et in cunctis sensibus custoditus. 

Est amor subjectus et obediens praelatis ; 
sibi vilis et despectus, 

( 174 ) 



Book III. Chap. V. Of thk Imitation ok Chiust. 

Love watches and sleeping slumbers not : 

weary is not tired, 

straitened is not constrained, 

frightened is not disturbed ; 

but like a living flame and a burning torch it bursts forth upwards 

Whosoever loves ; [and safely overpasses all. 

knows the cry of this voice. 

A loud cry in the ears of God ; 

is that ardent affection of the soul, 

which says. 

My God my love ; 

thou art all mine, 

and I am all thine. 

Enlarge me in thy love : 
that I may learn to taste with the inner mouth of the heart how 
and to be dissolved and swim in a sea of love, [sweet it is to love ; 
Let me be possessed by love ; 

going above myself through excess of fervour and awe. 
Let me sing the song of love, 
let me follow thee my beloved on high ; 
let my soul lose herself in thy praises e.xulting in love. 
Let me love thee more than myself, 
and myself only for thee, 
and all in thee who truly love thee ; 
as the law of love which shines forth from thee commands. 

Love is swift sincere pious pleasant and delightful : 
strong patient faithful, 
prudent long-suffering manly ; 
and never seeking itself. 
For where a man seeks himself ; 
there he falls from love. 

Love is circumspect humble and upright : 
not soft not light not intent upon vain things j 
sober chaste steadfast quiet and guarded in all its senses. 

Love is submissive and obedient to superiors ; 
mean and contemptible in its own eyes, 

( T7S ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. VI. 

Deo devotus et gratiticus : 

fideiis et sperans semper in eo etiam quum sibi non sapit Deus ; 

quia sine dolore non vivitur in a more. 

Qui non est paratus omnia pati cl ad voluntatem stare dilecti ; 

non est dignus amator appellari. [amplecti ; 

Oportet amantem omnia dura et amara propter dilcctum libentcr 

nee ob contraria accidentia ab eo deflecti. 



Cap. VI.— De Probatione Vert Amatoris. 

I. Fili non es adhuc fortis et prudens amator. 

Quare Domine? 

Quia propter modicam contrarietatem deficis a coeptis ; 
et nimis avide consolationem quaeris. 
Fortis amator stat in tentationibus ; 
nee callidis credit persuasionibus inimici. 
Sicut ei in prosperis placeo ; 
ita nee in adversis displiceo. 

Prudens amator non tarn donum amantis considerat ; 
quam dantis amorem. 
Affectum potius attendit quam censum ; 
et infra dilectum omnia data ponit. 
Nobilis amator non quiescit in dono ; 
sed in me super omne donum. 

Non est ideo totum perditum, 
si quandoque minus bene de me vel de Sanctis meis sentis quam 
Affectus ille bonus et dulcis quem interdum percipis ; [velles. 

effectus gratiae praesentis est, 
et quidam praegustus patriae caelestis. 
Super quo non nimium innitendum ; 
quia vadit et venit. 
Certare autcm adversus incidentes malos motus animi, 

( 176 ) 



Book III. Chap. VI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

devout and ever giving: thanks to God : [relish of God's sweetness ; 
always trusting and hoping in him even when it tastes not the 
for there is no living in love without pain, [the will of his beloved ; 
Whosoever is not ready to suffer all things and to stand resigned to 
is not worthy to be called a lover. [the sake of the beloved : 

He who loves must willingly embrace all that is hard and bitter for 
and must never suffer himself to be turned away from him by 

[adverse hap. 



Chapter VI.— Of the Proof of a True Lover. 

I. Son thou art not as yet a valiant and prudent lover. 

Why Lord ? 

Because on a little opposition thou fallest off from what thou hast 
and thou too greedily seekest after consolation. [begun ; 

A valiant lover stands his ground in temptations : 
and yields not to the crafty persuasions of the enemy. 
As I please him in prosperity ; 
so I displease him not in adversity. 

A prudent lover considers not so much the gift of the lover ; 
as the love of the giver, 

He looks more at the good-will than the value ; 
and prizes his beloved above all his gifts. 
A generous lover rests not in the gift ; 
but in me above every gift. Fwouldest wish to have. 

AH is not therefore lost. [my saints which thou 

if sometimes thou hast not that sense of devotion towards me or 
That good and sweet affection of which thou sometimes hast a 
is the effect of present grace, [sense; 

and as it were a foretaste of the heavenly country. 
But thou must not lean too much upon it ; 
because it comes and goes. 
But to fight against the evil motions of the mind as they arise, 

(^77) N 



De Imitatione Christi, Lib. HI. Cap. VI. 

suggestionemque spernere diaboli; 
insigne est virtutis et magni meriti. 

Non ergo te conturbent alienae phantasiae ; 
de quacumque materia ingestae. 
Forte serva propositum ; 
et intentionem rectam ad Deum. 

Nee est illusio quod aliquando in excessum subito raperis ; 
et statim ad solitas ineptias cordis reverteris. 
Illas enim invite magis pateris quam agis : 
et quamdiu displicent et reniteris ; 
meritum est et non perditio. 

Scito quod antiquus inimicus omnino nititur impedire desiderium 
et ab omni devoto exercitio evacuare : [tuum in bono, 

a sanctorum scilicet cultu a pia passionis meae memoria, 
a peccatorum utili recordatione, 
a proprii cordis custodia ; 
et a fimno proposito proficiendi in virtute. 
Multas malas cogitationes ingerit, 
ut taedium tibi faciat et horrorem ; 
ut ab oratione revocet et sacra lectione. 
Displicet sibi humilis confessio ; 
et si posset a communione cessare faceret. 

Non credas ei neque cures ilium ; 
licet saepius tibi deceptionis tetenderit laqueos. 
Sibi imputa ; 

quum mala mserit et immunda. 
Dicito illi. 

Vade immunde spiritus, 
erubesce miser : 
valde immundus es tu : 
qui talia infers auribus meis. 
Discede a me seductor pessime : 
non habebis in me partem ullam ; 
sed Jesus mecum erit tamquam bellator fortis, 
et tu stabis confusus. * 

Malo mori et omnem poenam subire ; 

( 178 ) 



Book III. Chap. VI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and to despise the suggestion of the devil ; 
is a sign of virtue and of great merit. 

Let not therefore strange fancies trouble thee ; 
on whatever subject they may thrust themselves upon thee. 
Keep thy resolution firm ; 

and thy intention upright towards God. [ecstasy ; 

Neither is it an illusion that thou art sometimes rapt into an 
and presently returnest to the accustomed frivolities of thy heart. 
For these thou dost unwillingly suffer rather than do : 
and as long as they displease thee and thou resistest them; 
it is merit and not loss. 

Know that the old enemy strives by all means to hinder thy desire 
and to divert thee from every devout exercise : [after good, 

to wit from the veneration of the saints from the pious meditation of 
from the profitable remembrance of thy sins, [my passion, 

from keeping a guard upon thine own heart ; 
and from a firm purpose of advancing in virtue. 
He suggests many evil thoughts, 
that ho may weary and frighten thee ; 

that he may withdraw thee from prayer and from holy reading. 
He cannot abide humble confession ; 
and if he could he would cause thee to cease from communion. 

Believe him not take no heed of him ; 
even though he again and again spread for thee the snares of his 
Charge him with it ; [deceit, 

when he suggests wicived and unclean things. 
Say to him. 
Begone unclean spirit, 
be ashamed miserable wretch : 
foul indeed art thou : 

to suggest such things as these to my hearing. 
Depart from me thou wicked tempter : 
thou shalt have no part in me ; 
but Jesus will be with me as a valiant warrior, 
and thou shalt stand confounded. 
I had rather die and undergo all torment ; 

( 179 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. VII. 

quam tibi consentire. 

Tace et obmutesce : 

non audiam te amplius ; 

licet plures mihi moliaris molestias. 

Dominus illuminatio mea et salus mea ; 

quern timebo ? 

Si consistant adversus me castra ; 

non timebit cor meum. 

Dominus adjutor meus; 

et redemptor meus. 

II. Certa tamquam miles bonus : 
et si interdum ex fragilitate corruis, 

resume vires fortiores prioribus confidens de ampliori gratia mea ; 
et multum praecave a vana complacentia et superbia. 
Propter hoc multi in errorem ducuntur ; 
et in caecitatem paene incurabilem quandoque labuntur. 
Sit tibi in cautelam et perpetuam humilitatem ; 
ruina haec superborum de se stulte praesumentium. 



Cap. VII.— De Occultanda Gratia sub Humilitatis 

CUSTODIA. 

I. Fili. 

Utilius est tibi et securius devotionis gratiam abscondere ; 

nee in altum te efferre, 

nee multum inde loqui neque multum ponderare : 

sed magis temet ipsum despicere : 

et tamquam indigno datam timere. 

Non est huic affectioni tenacius inhaerendum ; 
quae citius potest mutari in contrarium. 
Cogita in gratia ; 
quam miser et inops esse soles sine gratia. 

Nee est in eo tantum spiritualis vitae profectus. 

( i8o ) 



Book III.. Chap. VII. Of the iMiT.vrioN of Christ. 

than consent to thee. 

Hold thy peace and be silent : 

I will hear thee no longer ; 

although thou mayest try to trouble me yet more. . 

The Lord is my light and my salvation ; 

whom shall I fear ? 

Though an host of men should stand together against me ; 

my heart shall not fear. 

The Lord is my helper ; 

and my redeemer. 

IL Fight like a good soldier : 
and if sometimes thou fallest through frailty, ' [grace; 

rise up again with greater strength than before trusting in my fuller 
and guard thee much beforehand against vain complacency and 
Through this many are led into error ; [pride, 

and sometimes fall into blindness well-nigh incurable. 
Let this serv^e thee as a warning and keep thee always humble ; 
this fall of the proud who foolishly rely on their own strength. 



Chapter VII.— Of Concealing Grace in the Keeping of 

Humility. 

I. Son. 
It is more profitable for thee and safer to hide the grace of devotion ; 
and not to be elevated with it, 
nor to speak much of it nor to consider it much : 
but rather to despise thyself the more ; 
and to be afraid of it as being given to one unworthy. 

Thou must not cling too closely to this afiection ; 
which may be quickly changed into the contrary. 
When thou hast grace think with thyself; 
how miserable and poor thou art wont to be without grace. 

Nor does advancement in the spiritual life consist so much, 

( i8i ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III.- Cap. VII. 

quum consolationis habueris gratiam ; 

sed quum humiliter et abnegate patienterque tuleris ejus subtrac- 
ita quod tunc ab orationis studio non torpeas ; [tionem : 

nee reliqua opera tua ex usu facienda omnino dilabi permittas : 
sed sicut melius potueris et intellexeris libenter quod in te est facias; 

nee propter ariditatem seu anxietatem mentis quam sentis te 

Multi enim sunt, [totaliter negligas. 

qui quum non bene eis successerit ; 

statim impatientes fiunt aut desides. 

Non enim semper est in potestate hominis via ejus : 

sed Dei est dare et consolari quando vult et quantum vult et cui 

[vult ; 
sicut sibi placuerit et non amplius. 

II. Quidam incauti propter devotionis gratiam se ipsos destrux- 
quia plus agere voluerunt quam potuerunt, [erunt : 

non pensantes suae parvitatis mensuram ; 
sed magis cordis affectum sequentes quam rationis judiciuni. 
Et quia majora praesumpserunt quam Deo placitum fuit ; 
idcirco gratiam cito perdiderunt. 
Facti sunt inopes et viles relicti ; 
qui in caelum posuerunt nidum sibi : 

ut humiliati et depauperati discant non in alis suis volare ; 
sed sub pennis meis sperare. 

Qui adhuc novi sunt et imperiti in via Domini ; 
nisi consilio discretorum se regant, 
faciliter decipi possunt et elidi. 

Quodsi suum sentire magis sequi quam aliis exercitatis credere 
erit eis periculosus exitus ; [volunt: 

si tamen retrahi a proprio conceptu noluerint. 
Raro sibi ipsis sapientes ; 
ab aliis regi humiliter patiuntur. 

Melius est sapere modicum cum humilitate et parva inteliio-entia • 
quam magni scientiarum thesauri cum vana complacentia. 
Melius est tibi minus habere : 
quam multum, 

( 182 ) 



Book III. Chap. VII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

in having the grace of consolation ; [patience : 

as in bearing the withdrawal of it with humility resignation and 
so as not to grow remiss in the earnestness of thy prayer at that 
nor suffer thine other wonted works to slip altogether away : [time ; 
but that thou willingly do what lies in thee according to the best 

[of thy ability and understanding ; 
and take care not to neglect thyself wholly through the dryness or 
For there are many, [anxiety of mind which thou feelest. 

who when things succeed not well with them : 
presently grow impatient or slothful. 
For the way of man is not always in his own power : 
but it belongs to God to give and to comfort when he wills and as 

[much as he wills and whom he wills ; 
as it shall please him and no more. 

[of the grace of devotion : 

II. Some wanting in caution have ruined themselves by reason 
because they were desirous of doing more than they could, 
not weighing well the measure of their own littleness ; [of reason, 
but following rather the inclinations of the heart than the dictates 
And because they presumptuously undertook greater things than 
therefore they quickly lost grace. [were pleasing to God ; 

They became needy and were left wretched ; ftheir own wings ; 
who had built themselves a nest in heaven : [learn not to soar on 
to the end that being thus humbled and impoverished they might 
but to cherish hope under mine. 

Those who are as yet new and inexperienced in the way of the 
if they rule not themselves by the counsel of the discreet, [Lord ; 
may be easily deceived and brought to ruin 

But if they will rather follow their own judgment than believe 
their end will be full of peril : [others who have experience : 

that is if they still refuse to be withdrawn from their own conceits. 
They who are wise in their own eyes seldom ; 

humbly suffer themselves to be ruled by others^ [standing ; 

It IS better to have little knowledge with humility and small under- 
than greater treasures of learning with a vain self-conceit. 
It is better for thee to have little ; 
than much, 

( 183 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. Vll. 

unde posses superbire. 

III. Non satis discrete agit, 
qui se totum laetitiae tradit ; 

obliviscens pristinae inopiae suae et casti timoris Domini, 
qui timet gratiam oblatam amittere. 
Nee etiam satis virtuose sapit : 

qui tempore adversitatis et cujusque gravitatis nimis desperate se 
et minus fidenter de me quam oportet recogitat ac sentit. [gerit ; 
Qui tempore pads nimis securus esse voluerit ; 
saepe tempore belli nimis dejectus et formidolosus reperietur. 
Si scires semper humilis et modicus in te permanere: 
nee non spiritum tuum bene moderare et regere ; 
non incideres tarn cito in periculum et offensam. 

Consilium bonum est, 
ut fervoris spiritu concepto ; 
mediteris quid futurum sit abscedente lumiue. 
Quod dum contigerit, 
recogita et denuo lueem posse reverti ; 
quam ad eautelam tibi, 
mihi autem ad gloriam ad tempus subtraxi. 
Utilior est saepe talis probatio ; 
quam si semper prospera pro tua haberes voluntate. 
ISIam merita non sunt ex hoc existimanda si quis plures visicnes aut 
vel si peritus sit in seripturas ; [consolationes habeat ; 

aut in altiori ponatur gradu ; 

sed si vera fuerit humilitate fundatus et divina caritate repletus ; 
si Dei honorem pure et integre semper quaerat : 
si se ipsum nihil reputet, 
et in veritate despieiat ; 

atque ab aliis etiam despicl et humilian magis gaudeat quam 

[honorari. 



( 184 ♦ 



Book III. Chap. VII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

which may puff thee up with pride. 

III. He is not so discreet as he ought to be, 
who gives himself up wholly to gladness ; 
forgetting his former poverty and the chaste fear of God, 
which fears to lose the grace which is offered. 

Nor has his wisdom enough of valour : [much despair ; 

who in a time of adversity and any distress bears himself with too 
and thinks and feels of me with less confidence than he ought. 
He who would fain be too secure in time of peace; 
will often be found too much dejected and timid in time of war. 
If thou couldest always remain humble and little in thine own eyes : 
and keep thy spirit in due order and subjection ; 
thou wouldest not fall so easily into danger and stumbling. 

It is a good counsel, 
that when thou hast received the spirit of fervour ; 
thou shouldest meditate how it will be with thee when that light 
When this shall happen, {shall leave thee, 

remember that the light may return again ; 
which for thy warning, 
and my glory I have withdrawn for a time. 
Such a trial is oftentimes more profitable ; 

than if thou wert always to have prosperity according to thy will. 
For the merits of a man are not to be estimated by his having many 
nor by his being skilled in Scripture; [visions or consolations; 

nor by his being set in a higher place : 

but by his being grounded in true humility and full of divine charity; 
by his alwa3-s seeking purely and entirely the honour of God : 
by his esteeming himself as nothing, 
and sincerely despising himself; 

and being better pleased to be despised and humiliated by others 

[than to be honoured by them. 



( 185 ; 



De Imitationk Ckkisti. Lib. III. Cap. Vlll. 



Cap. VIII.— De Vili Aestimatione Sui Ipsiu.s in Oculis 

Dei. 

I. Loquar ad Dominum meum ; 
quum sim pulvis et cinis. 

Si me amplius reputaveio : 
ecce tu stas contra me, 

et dicunt testimonium verum iniquitates meae : 
nee possum contradicere. 
Si autem me vilificavero, 
et ad nihilum redegero ; 
et ab omni propria reputatione defecero, 
atque sicut sum pulverisavero : 

erit mihi propitia gratia tua et vicina cordi meo lux tua ; 
et omnis aestimatio quantulacumque minima in valle nihileitatis 

Ibi ostendis me mihi, [meae submergetur et peribit in aeiernum. 
quid sum quid fui et quo deveni ; 
quia nihil sum et nescivi. 
Si mihi ipsi reli'nquor ; 
ecce nihil et tota infirmitas. 
Si autem subito me respexeris : 
statim fortis efficior ; 
et novo repleor gaudio. 
Et mirum valde, 

quod sic repente sublevor et tam benigne a te complector ; 
qui proprio pondere semper ad ima feror. 

Facit hoc amor tuus gratis praeveniens me, 
et in tam multis subveniens necessitatibus : 
a gravibus quoque custodiens me periculis ; 
ef ab innumeris ut vere dicam eripiens malis. 
Me siquidcm male amando me perdidi : 

et te solum quaerendo et pure amando me et te pariter inveni ; 

( i86 j 



Book III. Chap. VIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter VI 1 1. —Of the Lowly Esteem of Self ix the 

Sight of God. 

I. I will speak to my Lord ; 
though I am but dust and ashes. 

If I think anything better of myself : 
behold thou standest against me, 
and my sins bear true witness ; 
and I cannot gainsay it. 
But if I humble myself, 
and bring myself to nothing ; 
and give up all manner of esteem of myself, 

and account myself to be as I am mere dust : [heart ; 

thy grace will be gentle to me and thy light will draw nigh to my 
and all self-esteem how small soever will be sunk in the depth of my 



own nothing- 
ness and will 
there lose it- 
.self for ever. 



There thou showest me to myself, 
what I am what I have been and what I have become ; 
for I am nothing and I knew it not. 
If I am left to myself; 
behold I am nothing and all weakness. 
But if thou shouldest suddenly look upon me : 
I presently become strong ; 
and am filled with a new joy. 
And it is very wonderful, 

that I am so quickly raised up and so graciously embraced by thee ; 
I who by my own weight am always sinking to the bottom. 

It is thy love that effects this freely preventing me, 
and assisting me in so manj' necessities : 
preserving me also from grievous dangers ; 
and as I may truly say delivering me from innumerable evils. 
For by an evil loving of myself I lost myself: [myself and thee : 
and by seeking thee alone and purely loving thee I found both 

( 187) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib^ m. Cm-. IX. 

atque ex amore profundius ad nihilum me redegi. 
Quiatu o dulcissime fads mecum supra meritum omne ; 
et supra id quod audeo sperare vel rogare. 

II. Benedictus sis Deus meus: 
quia licet ego omnibus bonis sim indignus ; 
lua tamen nobilitas et infinita bonitas numquam cessat benefacere 

Converte nos ad te, [etiam ingratis et longe a te aversis. 

ut simus grati humiles et devoti ; 
quia salus nostra tu es, 
virtus et fortitude nostra. 



Cap. IX.— Quod Omnia ad Deum sicut ad Finem 
UltimUxM sunt Referenda. 

I. Fili. 

Ego debeo esse finis tuus supremus et ultimatus ; 

si vere desideras esse beatus. 

Ex hac intentione purificabitur affectus tuus ; 

saepius ad se ipsum et ad creaturas male incurvatus. 

Nam si te ipsum in aliquo quaeris ; 

statim in te deficis et arescis. 

Omnia ergo ad me principaliter referas ; 
quia ego sum qui omnia dedi. 

Sic singula considera sicut ex summo bono manantia ; 
et ideo ad me tamquam ad suam originem cuncta sunt reducenda. 

II. Ex me pusillus et magnus, 
pauper et dives, 

tamquam ex fonte vivo aquam vivam hauriunt : 

et qui mihi sponte et libere deserviunt ; 

gratiam pro gratia accipient. 

Qui autem extra me voluerit gloriari, 

vel in aliquo private bono delectari : 

( i88 ) 



Book III. Chap. IX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and by this love I have more profoundlybroughtmyself unto nothing. 
Because thou O most sweet dealest with me above all desert ; 
and above all that I dare hope or ask for. 

II. Blessed be thou my God : 
for though I am unworthy of all good ; 
yet thy generosity and infinite goodness never cease to do good 



Turn us unto thee, 
that we may be thankful humble and devout ; 
for thou art our salvation, 
our courage and our strength. 



even to those who are 
ungrateful and who 
are turned away from 
thee. 



Chapter IX.— That All Things are to be Referred to 
God as to the Furthest End. 

I. Son. 

I must be thy highest and thy last end ; 

if thou desirest to be truly happy. 

By this intention shall thy affection be purified ; 

which too often is wrongly bent down upon thyself and things 

For if in anything thou seekest thyself; [created. 

thou presently witherest away within thyself and growest dry. 

Refer therefore all things to me as their first beginning ; 
for it is I that have given all. 

Consider everything as flowing from the highest good ; 
and therefore they must all be referred to me as to their source. 

I I . Out of me both little and great, 
rich and poor, 

draw living water as out of a living fountain : 

and they who freely and willingly serve me ; 

shall receive grace for grace. 

But he who would glory in anything else besides me, 

or delight in any good of his own choosing: 

( 189 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. X. 

non stabilietur in vero gaudio, 

neque in corde suo dilatabitur ; 

sed multipliciter impedietur et angustiabitur. 

Nihil eigo tibi de bono adscribere debes ; 
nee alicui homini virtutem attribuas : 
sed totum da Deo ; 
sine quo nihil habet homo. 

Ego totum dedi : 
ego totum rehabere vole ; 

et cum magna districtione gratiarum actiones require. 
Haec est Veritas ; 
qua fugatur gloriae vanitas. 
Et si intraverit caelestis gratia et vera caritas : 
non erit aliqua invidia, 
nee contractio cordis ; 
neque privatus amor occupabit. 
Vincit enim omnia divina caritas ; 
et dilatat omnes animae vires. 

Si recte sapis in rae solo gaudebis, 
in me solo sperabis : 
quia nemo bonus nisi solus Deus ; 
qui est super omnia laudandus et in omnibus benedicendus. 



Cap. X,— Quod Spreto Mundo Dulce est Servire 

Deo. 

I. Nunc iterum loquar Domine et non silebo: 
dicam in auribus Dei mei, 
Domini mei et Regis mei ; 
qui est in excelso. 

O quam magna multitudo dulcedinis tuae Domine ; 
quam abscondisti timentibus te. 
Sed quid es amantibus : 

( 190 ) 



Book III. Chap. X, Of the Imitation of Christ. 

shall not be established in true joy, 

nor enlarged in his heart ; 

but shall be in manifold ways entangled and brought to straits. 

Therefore thou must not ascribe anything good to thyself; 
nor attribute virtue to any man : 
but give all to God ; 
without whom man has nothing. 

I have given all : 
I will have all returned to me again ; 
and I very strictly require thanks for all that I give. 
This is that truth ; 

by which all vain glory is put to flight. 
And if heavenly grace and true love enter : 
there will be no envy, 
nor narrowness of heart ; 
nor will self-love keep its hold. 
For divine love overcomes all things ; 
and expands all the powers of the soul. 

If thou art truly wise thou wilt rejoice in me alone, 
thou wilt hope in me alone : 
for none is good but God only ; 
who is to be praised above all and to be blessed in all things. 



Chapter X.— That it is Sweet to Serve God DESPISl^G 

THE World, 

I. Now will I speak again O Lord and will not keep silence : 
I will say in the hearing of my God, 
my Lord and my King ; 
who is on high. 

Oh how great is the multitude of thy sweetness O Lord ; 
which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee. 
But what art thou to those who love thee : 

( 191 ) 



Dk Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. X. 

quid toto corde tibi servientibus ? 

Vere ineffabilis dulcedo contemplationis tuae ; 

quam largiris amantibus te. 

In hoc maxime ostendisti mihi dulcedinem caritatis tuae. 

quia quum non essem fecisti me ; 

et quum errarem longe a te, 

reduxisti me ut servirem tibi ; 

et praecepisti ut diligam te. 

O fons amoris perpetui. 
Quid dicam de te ? 
Quomodo potero tui oblivisci -. 
qui mei dignatus es recordari, 
etiam postquam contabui et peiii ? 

Fecisti ultra omnem spem misericordiam cum servo tuo ; 
et ultra omne meritum gratiam et amicitiam exhibuisti. 

Quid retribuam tibi pro gratia ista .'' 
Non enim omnibus datum est, 
ut omnibus abdicatis saeculo renuncient ; 
et monasticam vitam assumant. 
Numquid magnum est ut tibi serviam : 
cui omnis creatura servire tenetur? 
Non magnum mihi videri debet servire tibi : 
sed hoc potius magnum mihi et mirandum apparet ; 
quod tarn pauperem et indignum dignaris in servum recipere et 
Ecce omnia tua sunt ; Fdilectis servis tuis 

quae habeo et unde tibi servio. [adunare. 

Verumtamen vice versa tu magis mihi servis quam ego tibi. 
Ecce caelum et terra quae in ministerium hominis creasti praesto 
et faciunt quotidie quaecumque mandasti. [sunt ; 

Et hoc parum est ; 

quin etiam angelos in ministerium hominis ordinasti 
Transcendit autem haec omnia, 
quod tu ipse homini servire dignatus es ; 
et te ipsum daturum ei promisisti. 

Quid dabo tibi pro omnibus istis milibus bonis .'' 
Utinam jjossem tibi servire cunctis diebus vitae meae. 
Utinam vel uno die dignum servitium exhibcre sufhcerem. 

( 192 ) 



Book III. Chap. X. Of the Imitation of Chkist. 

what to those who serve thee with their whole heart? 

Unspeakable indeed is the sweetness of that vision of thee ; 

which thou bcstowest on those who love thee. 

In this hast thou signally shown me the sweetness of thy love, 

that when I was not thou didst make me ; 

and when I was wanderinc^ far from thee, 

thou didst bring- me back to serve thee ; 

and didst bid me love thee. 

O fount of ever-flowing love. 
What shall I say of thee ? 
How can I forget thee : 
who hast deigned to think of me. 
even after I had wasted away and was lost.'' 
Thou hast shown mercy beyond all hope to thy servant ; 
and beyond all my desert bestowed thy grace and friendship on me. 

What return shall I make to thee for this grace ? 
For it is not granted to all, 
to forsake all things to renounce the world ; 
and take on them the monastic life. 
Can it be much to serve thee : 
whom every creature is bound to serve ? 
It ought not to seem much to me to serve thee .- 
but this rather is to me great and wonderful ; 

that thou dost deign to receive into thy service one so poor and 
Behold all things are thine ; [unworthy and to make him one 

all I have and all wherewith I serve thee, [of thy chosen servants. 
And yet contrariwise thou servest me rather than I thee. 
Lo heaven and earth which thou hast created for the service of man 
and day by day do whatever thou hast commanded them, [are at 
And this is yet but little ; [thy call : 

for thou hast also appointed the angels for the service of man. 
Yet more than all this, 

thou thyself hast vouchsafed to ser\e man ; 
and hast promised that thou wilt give him thyself 

What shall I give thee for so many thousand favours ? 
Would that I could serve thee all the days of my life. [worthily. 
Would that I were able if it were but for one day to serve thee 

( 193 ) o 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XI. 

Vere tu es dignus omni servitio ; 

omni honore et laude aeterna. 

Vere Dominus meus es, 

et ego pauper servus tuus : 

qui totis viribus teneor tibi servire ; 

nee umquam in laudibus tuis debeo fastidirc. 

Sic volo sic desidero ; 

et quidquid mihi deest, 

tu digneris supplere. 

II. Magnus honor magna gloria tibi servire; 
et omnia propter te contemnere. 
Habebunt enim gratiam magnam ; 
qui sponte se subjecerint tuae sanctissimae servituti. 
Invenient suavissimam spiritus sancti consolationem ; 
qui pro amore tuo omnem carnalem abjecerint delectationem. 
Consequentur magnam mentis libertatem : 
qui artam pro nomine tuo ingrediuntur viam ; 
et omnem mundanam neglexerint curam. 

O grata et jucunda Dei servitus ; 
qua homo veraciter efficitur hber et sanctus. 
O sacer status religiosi famulatus : 
qui hominem angelis reddit aequalem, 
Deo placabilem, 
daemonibus terribilem ; 
et cunctis fidehbus commendabilem. 
O amplectendum et semper optandum servitium, 
quo summum promeretur bonum ; 
et gaudium acquiritur sine fine mansurum. 



Cap. XI.— Quod Desideria Cordis Examinanda sunt et 

MODERANDA. 

I. Fili. 

( r:?4 ) 



Book III. Chap. XI. Of the 1mit.\tion of Chkist. 

Verily thou ail worthy of all service ; 

of all honour and eternal praise. 

Verily thou art my Lord, 

and I am thy poor servant : 

who am bound with all my strength to serve thee ; 

and ought never to find thy praises wearisome. 

This is my will this is my desire ; 

and whatever is wanting to me, 

do thou vouchsafe to supply. 

II. It is a great honour a great glory to serve thee ; 
and to despise all things for thee. 
For they will have great grace • 

who willingly subject themselves to thy most holy service. 
They will find the most sweet comfort of the Holy Spirit ; 
who for the love of thee have cast away all carnal delights. 
They will gain great freedom of mind : 
who for thy name's sake enter upon the narrow way ; 
and lay aside all worldly care. 

O pleasant and delightful service of God ; 
by whicli a man is made truly free and holy. 
O sacred state of religious bondage : 
which makes men equal to angels, 
to be reconciled with God, 
terrible to the devils ; 
and a praise to all the faithful. 

O service worthy to be embraced and ever to be chosen, 
which earns for us the supreme good ; 
and procures a joy that will abide without end. 



Chapter XI.— Th.\t the Desires of the Heart ark to 
I3E Examined and Moderated. 

1. Son. 

( 195 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. C.vp. XI. 

Oportet te adhuc multa addiscere ; 
quae necdum bene didicisti. 

Quae sunt haec Domine ? 

Ut desiderium tuum ponas tota]iter secundum beneplacitum 
et tui ipsius amator non sis ; [meum : 

sed meae voluntatis cupidus aemulator. 

Desideria te saepe accendunt et vehementer impellunt ; 
sed considera an propter honorem meum an propter tuum commo- 
Si ego sum in causa ; [dura magis movearis. 

bene contentus eris, 
quomodocumque ordinavero. 
Si autem de proprio quaesitu aliquid latet ; 
ecce hoc est quod te impedit et gravat. 

Cave ergo ne nimium innitaris super desiderio praeconcepto me 

[non consulto : 
ne forte postea poeniteat aut displiceat : 
quod primo placuit et quasi pro meliore zelasti. 

Non enim omnis affectio quae videtur bona statim est sequenda : 

sed neque omnis contraria affectio ad primum fugienda. 

II. Expedit interdum refrenatione uti etiam in bonis studiis et 
ne per importunitatem mentis distractionem incurras : [desideriis ; 
ne aliis per indisciplinationem scandalum generes : 
vel etiam per resistentiam aliorum subito turberis et corruas. 
Interdum vero oportet violentia uti et viriliter appetitui sensitivo 
nee advertere quid velit caro et quid non velit ; [contraire : 

sed hoc magis satagere, 
ut subjecta sit etiam nolens spiritui, 
Et tamdiu castigari debet et cogi scrvituti subesse, 
donee parata sit ad omnia : 

paucisque contentari discat et simplicibus delectari ; 
nee contra aliquod inconvcniens mussitare. 

( 196) 



BuoK III. CiiAP. XI. Of tiik Imitation of Christ. 

Thou hast many things still to learn ; 
which thou hast not yet well learnt. 

What are these things Lord ? 

That thou shouldest conform thy desire in all things to my good 
and that thou be not a lover of thyself ; [pleasure : 

but earnestly zealous that my will may be done. 

Desires often inflame thee and violently hurry thee on ; 
but ponder well whether it be for my honour or thine own interest 
If I am thy motive ; [that thou art rather moved, 

thou wilt be well contented, 
with whatsoever I shall ordain. 
But if there lurk in thee anything of self-seeking; 
behold it is this that hinders thee and weighs thee down. 
Take heed then thou lean not too much on any desire thou hast 
[conceived beforehand without consulting me : 
lest perhaps thou afterwards repent or be displeased : 
with that which before pleased thee and which thou didst zealously 

[desire as the best. 
For as not every inclination which appears good is presently to be 

[followed ; 
so neither is every feeling of repugnance at first sight to be rejected. 

[check thyself at times ; 

II. Even in good desires and inclinations it is well for thee to 
lest by too much eagerness thou run into distraction of mind : 
lest thou create scandal to others by thy lack of discipline : [fall, 
or lest by the opposition of others thou be suddenly disturbed and 
Sometimes it behoves thee to use violence and manfully resist the 
nor to regard what the flesh likes and what it dislikes ; ["sensitive 
but rather to make it thy care, [appetite: 

that even though unwilling it may become subject to the spirit. 
And so long must it be chastised and kept under servitude, 
until it readily obey in all things : 

and learn to be content with a little to be pleased with what is 
and not to murmur at any inconvenience. [simple ; 

( 197 ; 



De Imitatioxe CHRibTi. , LiB. III. Cap. XII. 



Cap. XII.— De Informatione Patientiae et Luctamine 

ADVERSUS COXCUPISCENTIAS. 

I. Domine Deus ut video patientia est mihi valde necessaria : 
multa enim in hac vita accidunt contraria. 
Nam qualitercumque ordinavero de pace mea : 
non potest esse sine bello et dolore vita mea. 

Ita est fili. 
Sed volo te non talem quaerere pacem quae tentationibus careat 
sed tunc etiam aestimare te pacem invenisse ; Taut contraria 

quum fueris variis tribulationibus exercitatus, I non sentiat : 

et in multis contrarietatibus probatus. 

Si dixeris te non posse multa pati : 
quomodo tunc sustinebis ignem purgatorii ? 
De duobus mails minus est semper eligendum. 
Ut ergo aeterna futura supplicia possis evadere ; 
mala praesentia studeas pro Deo aequanimiter tolerare. 

An putas quod homines saeculi hujus nihil vel parum patiantur ? 
Nee hoc invenies ; 
etiamsi delicatissimos quaesieris. 

Sed habent inquis multas delectationes et proprias sequuntur vol- 
ideoque parum ponderant suas tribulationes. [untates : 

Esto ita sit ; 

ut habeant quidquid voluerint. 
Sed quamdiu putas durabit ? 

Ecce quemadmodum fumus deficient abundantes in saeculo ; 
et nulla erit recordatio praeteritorum gaudiorum. 
Sed et quum adhuc vivunt ; 

non sine amaritudine et taedio ac timore in eis quiescunt. 
Ex eadem namque re unde sibi delectationem concipiunt, 
inde doloris poenam frequenter recipiunt. 
Juste illis fit, 
ut quia inordinate delectationes quaerunt et sequuntur ; 

( 198) 



Book III. Chap. XII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter XII.— Of Learning Patience and of Wrestling 
AGAINST Carnal Desires. 

I. O Lord God patience as I see is very necessary for me : 
for this life is exposed to many contradictions. 
For whatever plan I shall have formed for my peace ; 
my life cannot be without war and sorrow. 

So is it my son. 
Yet I would not have thee seek for such a peace as is without temp- 
but even then to think that thou hast found peace ; ["tations or to 
when thou shalt be exercised with divers tribulations, meet with no 
and tried in many adversities. contradic- 

If thou shalt say that thou canst not suffer much : Ltions : 
how then wilt thou endure the fire of purgatory? 
Of two evils we ought always to choose the lesser. 
That thou mayest therefore escape eternal punishments to come ; 
try to endure present evils with patience for the sake of God. 

Dost thou think the men of this world suffer little or nothing ? 
Thou wilt not find it so ; 

though thou shouldest seek out the most pampered. 
But thou sayest they have many delights and follow their own 
and therefore make small account of their tribulations. [wills ; 

Be it so ; 

that they have all they desire. 
But how long dost thou think that this will last? 
Behold they who abound in this world shall vanish away as smoke ; 
and there shall be no remembrance of past joys 
Nay even whilst they are living; 

they rest not in them without bitterness irksoineness and fear. 
For the same thing in which they conceive delight, 
often brings upon them in return a punishment of sorrov/. 
It is but just that they, 
who inordinately seek and follow after pleasures ; 

( 199 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XIII. 

non sine confusione et amaritudine eas cxpleant. 
O quam breves, 
quam falsae ; 

quam inordinatae et turpes omiies sunt. 
Verumtamen prae ebrietate et caecitate non intelligunt ; 
sed velut muta animalia propter modicum corrupiibilis vitae delec- 

[tamentum mortem animae incurrunt. 
11- Tu ergo fili post concupiscentias tuas non eas; 
et a voluntate tua avertere. 
Delectare in Domino ; 
et dabit tibi petitiones cordis tui. 

Etenim si veraciter vis delectari et abundantius a me consolari : 
ecce in contemptu omnium mundanorum et in abscisione omnium 
Linfimarum delectationum erit benedictio tua ; 
et copiosa tibi reddetur consolatio. 

Et quanto te plus ab omni creaturarum solatio subtraxeris ; 
tanto in me suaviores et potentiores consolationes invenies 

Sed primo non sine quadam tristitia et labore certaminis ad has 
Obsistet inolita consuetudo ; [pertinges. 

sed meliori consuetudine devincetur, 
Remurmurabit caro ; 
sed fervore spiritus frenabitur. 
Instigabit et exacerbabit te serpens antiquus : 
sed oratione fugabitur ; 
insuper et labore utili aditus ei magnus obstruetur. 



Cap. XIII.— De Obedientia Humii.is subditi ad Exemplum 

Jesu Christi. 

I. Fili. 
Qui se subtrahere nititur ab obedientia ; 
ipse se subtrahit a gratia. 
Et qui quaerit privata ; 

( 200 ) 



Book III. Chap. XIII. Of thk Imitation of Christ. 

should not satisfy them to the full without confusion and bitterness. 
Oh how short, 
how deceitful ; 

how inordinate and base are all these pleasures. 
Yet through sottishness and blindness men understand this not ; 
but like dumb beasts for a small pleasure in this corruptible life 

[they run upon the death of the soul. 
II. Thou therefore my son go not after thy lusts ; 
and turn away from thine own will. 

Delight in the Lord ; Ftion from me : 

and he will give thee thy heart's desire. [dant consola- 

For if thou wishest to have true delights and to receive more abun- 
behold in the contempt of all worldly things and in the cutting 
[off of all low pleasures shalt thou be blessed ; 
and abundant consolation be restored to thee. [created ; 

And the more thou withdrawest thyself from all solace in things 
the sweeter and the stronger consolations wilt thou find in me. 

But at first thou shalt not attain to these without some sorrow and 
Inbred habit will stand in the way ; [labour of conflict, 

but by a better habit it shall be overcome. 
The flesh will murmur ; 

but by the fervour of the spirit it shall be reined in. 
The old serpent will tempt thee and harass thee : 
but by prayer he shall be put to flight ; 

moreover by useful labour a main approach of his will be blocked 

[up. 



Chapter XIII.— Of the Submission of One under 
Obedience after the Example of Jesus Christ. 

I. Son. 
He who strives to withdraw himself from obedience ; 
withdraws himself from grace. 
And he who seeks his own ; 

( 20I ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XIII. 

amittit communia. 

Qui non libenter et sponte suo superiori se subdit : 
signum est quod caro sua necdum perfecte sibi obedit ; 
sed saepe recalcitrat et remurmurat. 
Disce ergo celeriter supei-iori tuo te submittere ; 
si carnem propriam optas subjugare. 
Citius namque exterior vincitur inimicus ; 
si interior homo non fuerit devastatus. 
Non est molestior et pejor animaehostis ; 
quam tu ipse tibi, 
non bene concordans spiritui. 

Oportet omnino verum te assumere tui ipsius contemptum ; 
si vis praevalere adversus carnem et sanguinem. 
Quia adhuc nimis inordinate te diligis; 
ideo plene te resignare aliorum voluntati trepidas. 

II. Sed quid magnum, 
si tu qui pulvis es et nihil, fhumiliter subjeci ? 

propter Deum te homini subdis : [me homini propter te 

quando ego omnipotens et altissimus qui cuncta creavi ex nihilo 
Factus sum omnium humillimus et infimus ; 
ut tuam superbiam mea humilitate vinceres. 
Disce obtemperare pulvis : 
disce te humiliare terra et limus ; 
et sub omnium pedibus incurvare. 
Disce voluntates tuas frangere; 
et ad omnem subjectionem te dare. 
Exardesce contra te, 
nee patiaris tumorem in te vivere : 
sed ita subjectum et parvulum te exhibe ; 
ut omnes super te ambulare possint et sicut lutum platearum 

Quid habes homo inanis conqueri ; [conculcare. 

quid fordide peccator potes contradicere exprobrantibus tibi : 
qui toties Deum offendisti, 
ct infernum multoties meruisti ? 
Sed pepercit tibi oculus mens : 
quia pretiosa fuit anima tua in conspectu meo ; 

( 202 ) 



Book III. Chap. XIIl. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

loses those things which are in common. [superior : 

If a man does not freely and willingly submit himself to his 
it is a sign that his flesh is not as yet perfectly obedient to him ; 
but that it oftentimes rebels and murmurs. 
Learn then to submit thyself readily to thy superior: 
if thou choosest to subdue thine own flesh. 
For the enemy without is sooner overcome ; 
if the inner man be not laid waste. 

There is not a more troublesome or worse enemy to the soul ; 
than thou art to thyself, 
when not at peace with the spirit. 

Thou must in good earnest take to thee a true contempt of thyself; 
if thou wishest to prevail over flesh and blood. 
Because thou hast as yet too inordinate a love for thyself ; 
therefore art thou afraid to resign thyself wholly to the will of 

[others. 



myself to man ? 
humbly subjected 



II. But what great matter is it, 
if thou who art dust and nothing, 
submit thyself to man for the sake of God : [nothing for thy sake 
when I the Almighty and the Most High who created all things out of 
I became the most humble and the lowest of all : 
that thou mightest overcome thy pride by my humility. 
Learn to obey O dust : 
learn to humble thyself O earth and clay ; 
and to bow thyself down beneath the feet of all. 
Learn to break thine own will ; 
and to yield thyself up to all subjection 
Be zealous against thyself, 
sufter not swelling pride to live in thee : 
but show thyself so submissive and so little ; 
that all may trample on thee and tread thee under their feet as 

What hast thou vain man to complain of; [the mire of the streets. 
what answer canst thou make O vile sinner to those that reproach 
thou who hast so often offended God, [thee : 

and many times deserved hell ? 
But mine eye has spared thee : 
because thy soul was precious in my sight ; 

( 203 ^ 



De Imitatione Chkisti. Lib_ m^ (^^p^ xiv. 

ut cognosceres dilectionem meam et gratus semper beneficiis meis 

[exsisteres : 
et ut ad veram subjectionem et humilitatem te jugiter dares ; 
patienterque proprium contemptum ferres. 



Cap. XIV.— De Occultis Dei Judiciis Considerandis: ne 

EXTOLLAMUR IN BONIS. 

I. Intonas super me judicia tua Domine : 

et timore ac tremore concutis omnia ossa mea ; 

et expavescit anima mea valde. 

Sto attonitus et considero ; 

quia caeli non sunt mundi in conspectu tuo. 

Si in angelis reperisti pravitatem nee tamen pepercisti : 

quid fiet de me ? 

Ceciderunt stellae de caelo : 

et ego pulvis quid praesumo ? 

Quorum opera videbantur laudabiiia ceciderunt ad infima ; 

et qui comedebant panem angelorum ; 

vidi siliquis delectari porcorum. 

Nulla est ergo sanctitas si manum tuam Domine subtrahas ; 

nulla prod est sapientia, 

si gubernare desistas : 

nulla juvat fortitudo, 

si conservare desinas : 

nulla secura castitas, 

si earn non protegas ; 

nulla propria prodest custodia; 

si non adsit tua sacra vigilantia. 

Nam relicti mergimur et perimus; 

visitati vero erigimur et vivimus. 

Instabiles quippe sumus sed per te confirniamur ; 

tepescimus, 

sed a te acccndinmr. 

( 204 ) 



Book III. Chap. XIV. Of the Imitation ok Christ. 

that thou mightest know my love and live on ever grateful for my 

[favours : 
and that thou mightest give thyself continually to true subjection 
and bear with patience that all despise thee. [and humility ; 



Chapter XIV.— Of Considering the Secret Judgments of 
God : LEST We be Puffed up with Our Own Good Works. 

I. Thou thunderest forth over my head thy judgments O Lord : 
and thou shakest all my bones with fear and trembling ; 
and my soul is terrified exceedingly. 
I stand amazed and consider ; 
for the heavens are not pure in thy sight. 

If in the angels thou hast found sin and hast not spared them : 
what will become of me ? 
Stars have fallen from heaven : 

and I who am but dust how can I presume ? [very lowest ; 

They whose works seemed worthy to be praised have fallen to the 
and those who were wont to feed upon the bread of angels : 
1 have seen delighted with the husks of swine. 

There is then no sanctity if thou O Lord withdraw thy hand ; 
no wisdom profits, 
if thou cease to govern : 
no strength avails, 
if thou cease to uphold : 
no chastity is secure, 
if thou protect it not ; 

no guard that we can keep upon ourselves will profit us ; 
if thy sacred watch be not over us. 
For if thou leave us we sink and perish ; 
but if thou visit us we are raised up and live. 
For we are unstable indeed but by thee we are strengthened ; 
we are lukewarm, 
but by thee we are set on fire. 

( 205 ) 



DE IMITATIONE CHRISTI. LiB. HI. CAP. XV. 

1 1. O quam humiliter et abjecte mihi de me ipso sentiendum est ; 
quam nihili pendendum si quid boni videar habere. 
O quam profunda submittere me debeo sub abyssalibus judiciis 
ubi nihil aliud me esse invenio, [tuis Domine ; 

quam nihil et nihil. 
O pondus immensum : 
o pelagus intransnatabile ; 
ubi nihil de me reperio quam in toto nihil. 

Ubi est ergo latebra gloriae : 
ubi confidentia de virtute concepta.? 
Absorpta est omnis gloriatio vana, 
m profunditate judiciorum tuorum super me. 
Quid est omnis caro in conspectu tuo ? 
Numquid gloriabitur lutum contra formantem se ? 
Quomodo potest erigi vaniloquio : 
cujus cor in veritate subjectum est Deo.? 
Non eum totus mundus eriget ; 
quem Veritas sibi subjecit : 
nee omnium laudantium ore movebitur ; 
qui totam spem suam in Deo firmavit. 
Nam et ipsi qui loquuntur, 
ecce omnes nihil : 

deficient enim cum sonitu verborum ; 
Veritas autem Domini manet in aeternum. 



Cap. XV.— Oualiter Standum sit ac Dicendum in Omni 

Re DESIDERAinLI. 

1. Fili. 
Sic dicas in omni re. 
Domine si tibi placitum fuerit ; 
liai hoc ita. 

Domine si fuerit honor tuus ; 
fiat hoc in nomine tuo. 

( co6 ) 



Book III. Chap. XV. Ok tiik Imitation of Christ. 

II. Oh how humbly and lowly ought I to think of myself; 
how little ought I to esteem whatever good I may seem to have. 
Oh how low ought I to cast myself down under thine unfathomable 
where I find myself to be nothing else, [judgments O Lord ; 

but nothing yea nothing. 
O weight immense : 
O sea impassable ; 
where I find nothing about myself but that I am wholly nothing. 

Where then can boasting find a lurking-place : 
where confidence in fancied virtue .-' 
All vain glorying is swallowed up, 
in the depth of thy judgments above me. 
What is all flesh in thy sight ? 
Shall the clay glory against him who formed it ? 
How can he be elated with vain talk ; 
whose heart in truth is subjected to God ? 
All the world will not move him to pride ; 
whom truth has subjected to itself : 

neither will he be moved with the tongues of all that praise him ; 
who has made his whole hope strong in God. 
For they also who speak, 
behold all are naught : 

for they shall pass away with the sound of their words; 
but the truth of the Lord remaineth for ever. 



Chapter XV.— What Position We are to Take .\nd What 
We are to Sav when We Desire Any Thing. 

1. Son. 
In every thing say thus. 
Lord if it be pleasing to thee ; 
so let this be done. 
Lord if it be to thine honour ; 
let this be done in thy name. 

( 207 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XV. 

Domine si mihi videris expedire, 

et utile esse probaveris ; 

tunc dona mihi hoc uti ad honorem tuum. 

Sed si mihi nocivum fore cognoveris nee animae meae saluti 

aufer a me tale desiderium. [prodesse ; 

Non enim omne desiderium est a spiritu sancto ; 
etiamsi homini videatur rectum et bonum. 
Difficile est pro vero judicare, 
utrum spiritus bonus, 

an alienus te impellat ad desiderandum hoc vel illud ; 
an etiam ex proprio movearis spiritu. 
Multi in fine sunt decepti ; 
qui primo bono spiritu videbantur inducti. 

Igitur semper cum timore Dei et cordis humilitate desiderandum 
quidquid desiderabile menti occurrit ; [est et petendum, 

maximeque cum propria resignatione mihi totum committendum 
atque dicendum. [est, 

Domine tu scis, 
qualiter melius est ; 
fiat hoc vel illud sicut volueris. 
Da quod vis et quantum vis : 
et quando vis. 

Fac mecum sicut scis et sicut tibi magis placuerit ; 
et major honor tuus fuerit. 
Pone me ubi vis ; 
et libere age mecum in omnibus. 
In manu tua sum ; 
gyra et reversa me per circuitum. 
En servus tuus ego, 
paratus ad omnia : 

quoniam non desidero mihi vivere sed tibi; 
utinam dignc et perfecte. 

II. Oratio pro reneplacito Dei periiciendo. 

Concede mihi benignissime Jesu gratiam tuam : 
ut mecum sit et mecum laborct ; 
mecumque usque in finem perseveret. 

( 208 ) 



Book III. Chap. XV. Of the Imitation or Christ. 

Lord if thou seest that this is expedient for me, 

and approvest it as profitable ; 

then give me to use it to thine honour. 

But if thou knowest that it will be hurtful to me and not expedient 

take away from me such a desire. [for the salvation of my sou' ; 

For not every desire is from the Holy Ghost ; 
even though it seem to a man right and good. 
It is hard to judge truly, 
whether it be a good spirit, 

or an evil which urges thee on to desire this or that ; 
or whether thou art not moved by thine own spirit. 



desire or ask for, 
of heart that thou 



Many have been deceived in the end ; 

who at first seemed to be led by a good spirit. 

See therefore that it be always with the fear of God and humility 
whatsoever presents itself to thy mind as to be desired ; 
and above all thou oughtest with a resignation of thyself to commit 
and to say. [all to me, 

Lord thou knowest, 
in what way it is best ; 
let this or that be done as thou wilt. 
Give what thou wilt and as much as thou wilt ; 
and when thou wilt. 

Do with me as thou knowest and as best pleases thee : 
and is most for thine honour. 
Put me where thou wilt ; 

and do with me in all things according to thy will. 
I am in thy hand ; 

twist me about and turn me back again. 
Lo I am thy servant, 
prepared for all things : 

for I do not desire to live to myself but to thee ; 
O that it were worthily and perfectly. 

II. A PRAYER FOR FULFILLING THE GOOD PLEASURE OF GOD. 

Grant me thy grace most gentle Jesus : 
that it may be with me and work with me ; 
and continue with me to the end. 

( 209 ) P 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XVI. 

Da mihi hoc semper desiderare et velle; 
quod tibi magis acceptum est et carius placet. 
Tua voluntas mea sit ; 

et mea voluntas tuam semper sequatur et optime ei concordet. 
Sit mihi unum velle et nolle tecum ; 
nee aliud posse velle aut nolle ; 
nisi quod tu vis et nolis. 

Da mihi omnibus mori quae in mundo sunt ; 
et propter te amare contemni et nesciri in hoc saeculo. 
Da mihi super omnia desiderata in te requiescere ; 
et cor meum in te pacificare. 
Tu vera pax cordis tu sola requies ; 
extra te dura sunt omnia et inquieta. 
In hac pace, 
in id ipsum ; 

hoc est in te uno summo aeterno bono dormiam et requiescam. 

Amen. 



Cap. XVI.— Quod Verum Solatium in solo Deo est 

QUAERENDUM. 

L Quidquid desiderare possum vel cogitare ad solatium meum ; 
non hie exspecto, 
sed in posterum. 

Quodsi omnia solatia mundi solus haberem et omnibus deliciis frui 
certum est quod diu durare non possent. [possem ; 

Unde non poteris anima mea plene consolari nee perfecte re- 

[creari ; 
nisi in Deo consolatore pauperum ac susceptore humilium. 
Exspecta modicum anima mea : 
exspecta divinum promissum ; 
et habebis abundantiam omnium bonorum in caelo. 

Si nimis inordinate ista appetis praesentia ; 
perdes aeterna et caclcstia. 

( 2IO ) 



Book III. Chap. XVI. Of the Imit.vtion of Christ. 

Grant me always to will and desire ; 
that which is the more acceptable and the more perfectly pleasing 
Let thy will be mine ; [to thee, 

and let my will always follow thine and perfectly accord with it. 
Let me always will or not will the same with thee ; 
and let me be unable to will or not will ; 
otherwise than as thou wiliest or wiliest not. 

Grant that I may die to all things which are in the world ; 
and that for thy sake I may love to be despised and to be unknown 
Grant that I may rest in thee above all things desired ; fin this 
and give my heart peace in thee. [world. 

Thou art the true peace of the heart thou its only rest ; 
out of thee all things are hard and unrestful. 
In this peace, 
and for this very end ; 

that is in thee the one sovereign eternal good I will lay me down 

Amen. [and take mv rest. 



Chapter XVL— That True Comfort is to be Sought in 

God alone. 

L Whatsoever I can desire or imagine for my solace ; 
I look not for here, 
but hereafter. 

For if I alone should have all the comforts of this world and could 
it is certain they could not last long. [enjoy all its delights ; 

Wherefore thou canst not O my soul be fully comforted nor have 

[perfect refreshment ; 
save in God the comforter of the poor and the upraiser of the 
Wait a little while O my soul : [liumble. 

wait for the divine promise ; 
and thou wilt have plenteousness of all that is good in heaven. 

If thou desirest too inordinately these present things ; 
thou wilt lose those which are eternal and heavenly. 

C 211 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XVII. 

Sint temporalia in usu ; 
aetcrna in desiderio. 

Non potes aliquo bono temporali satiari ; 
quia ad haec fruenda non es creata. 
Etiamsi omnia creata bona haberes, 
non posses esse felix et beata : 
sed in Deo qui cuncta creavit, 
tota beatitudo tua et felicitas consistit : 
non qualis videtur et laudator a stultis mundi amatoribus: 
sed qualem exspectant boni Christi fideles, 
et praegustant interdum spirituales ac mundicordes : 
quorum conversatio est in caelis. 

Vanum est et breve omne humanum solatium. 
Beatum et verum solatium : 
quod intus a veritate percipitur. 

II. Devotus homo ubique seciim fert consolatorem suum Jesum 
et dicit ad eum. 

Adesto mihi Domine Jesu in omni loco et tempore. 
Haec mihi sit consolatio ; 
libenter velle carere omni humano solatio. 
Et si tua defuerit consolatio : 

sit mihi tua voluntas et justa probatio pro summo solatio. 
Non enim in perpetuum irasceris : 
neque in aeternum comminaberis. 



Cap. XVII.— Quod omnis Sollicituuo in Deo Statuenda 

SIT. 

I. Fili. 
Sine me tecum agere quod volo ; 
ego scio quid expedit tibi. 
Tu cogitas sicut homo ; 

( 212 ) 



Book III. Chap. XVII. Of the Imitation of Christ 

Let temporal things serve thy use ; 
but let the eternal be still thy desire. 

Thou canst not be fully satisfied with any temporal good ; 
because thou wast not created for the enjoyment of such things. 
Although ihou shouldest have all created goods, 
yet this could not make thee happy and blessed : 
but in God who created all things, 
all thy blessedness and thy happiness consist : 
not such as is seen or praised by the foolish lovers of this world : 
but such as good and faithful followers of Christ look for, 
and of which they have sometimes a foretaste who are spiritual and 
whose conversation is in heaven. [clean of heart : 

All human solace is vain and shortlived. 
Blessed and true is that solace : 
which is inwardly received from the truth. 

II. A devout man bears about with him everywhere Jesus his 
and says to him. [comforter ; 

Be with me Lord Jesus in every place and time. 
Let this be my consolation ; 
to be willing to do without any human solace. 
And if thy consolation be withdrawn : 

let thy will and thy just trial be to me as the greatest solace. 
For thou wilt not be angry always : 
neither wilt thou threaten for ever. 



Chapter XVIL— Tn.vr we Ought to Place all our Care 

UPON God. 

I. Son. 
Suffer me to do with thee what I will ; 
I know what is meet for thee. 
Thou thinkest as man ; 

( 213 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. HI. Cap. XVII. 

tu sentis in multis sicut humanus suadet afifectus. 

Domine verum est quod dicis. 
Major est sollicitudo tua pro me ; 
quam omnis cura quam ego gerere possum pro me. 
Nimis enim casualiter stat ; 
qui non projicit omnem soUicitudinem suam in te. 

Domine dummodo voluntas mea recta et firma ad te permaneat ; 
fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit. 
Non enim potest esse nisi bonum ; 
quidquid de me feceris. 
Si me vis esse in tenebris sis benedictus : 
et si me vis esse in luce ; 
sis iterum benedictus. 
Si me dignaris consolari sis benedictus : 
et si me vis tribulari ; 
sis aeque semper benedictus. 

II. Fili, 
sic oportet te stare ; 
si mecum desideras ambulare. 
Ita promptus esse debes ad patiendum ; 
sicut ad gaudendum. 
Ita libenter debes esse inops et pauper ; 
sicut plenus et dives. 

Domine, 
libenter paliar pro te ; 
quidquid volueris venire super me. 

Indifferenter volo de manu tua bonum et malum dulce et amarum 
et pro omnibus mihi contingentibus gratias agere. riaetum et triste 

Custodi me ab omni peccato ; [suscipcre ; 

et non timebo inortem nee infernum. 
Dummodo in aeternum me non projicias, 
nee deleas de libro vitac ; 
non mihi nocebit quidquid venerit tribulationis super me. 

( 214 .1 



Book III. Chap. XVII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

thou judgest in many things as human aflection suggests. 

Lord what thou sayest is true. 
Thy care for me is greater ; 
than all the care I can take of myself. 
For he stands at too great a hazard ; 
who casts not his whole care on thee. 

Lord provided that my will remain right and firm towards thee ; 
do with me whatsoever it shall please thee. 
For that cannot be other than good ; 
whatever thou shalt do by me. 

If thou wilt have me to be in darkness be thou blessed : 
and if thou wilt have me to be in light ; 
blessed be thou again. 

If thou vouchsafest to comfort me be thou blessed : 
and if it be thy will that I should be afflicted ; 
be thou always equally blessed. 

II. Son, 
thus must thou stand ; 
if thou desirest to walk with me. 
Thou must be as ready to sufifer ; 
as to rejoice. 

Thou must be as willing to be poor and needy ; 
as to be full and rich. 

Lord, 
I will suffer willingly for thee ; 
whatsoever thou art pleased should befall me. 
I am willing to receive with indifference from thy hand good and 



and to give thee thanks for all that happens to me. 

Keep me from all sin ; 
and I will fear neither death nor hell. 
So only thou cast me not off for ever, 
nor blot me out of the book of life ; 
no tribulation that befalls me will hurt me. 

(215 ) 



evil sweet and 
bitter joy and 
sorrow ; 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XVIII. 



Cap. XVIII.— Quod Temporales Miseriae Exemplo Christi 
Aequanimiter sunt Ferendae. 

I. Fili. 

Ego descendi de caelo pro tua salute : 

suscepi tuas miserias non necessitate sed caritate trahente ; 

ut patientiam disceres, 

et temporales miserias non indignanter ferres. 

Nam ab hora ortus mei, 

usque ad exitum in cruce ; 

non defuit mihi tolerantia doloris. 

Defectum rerum temporalium magnum habui : 

multas querimonias de me frequenter audivi; 

confusiones et opprobria benigne sustinui : 

pro beneficiis ingratitudinem recepi ; 

pro miraculis blasphemias, 

pro doctrina reprehensiones. 

II. Domine, 

quia tu patiens fuisti in vita tua, Fsustineam ; 

in hoc maxime implendo praeceptum Patris tui : [patienter me 

dignum est ut ego misellus peccator secundum voluntatem tuam 
et donee ipse volueris onus corruptibilis vitae pro salute mea 

[portem. 
Nam etsi onerosa sentitur praesens vita ; 
facta est tamen jam per gratiam tuam valde meritoria, 
atque exemplo tuo et sanctorum tuorum vestigiis infirmis tolera- 

[bilior et clarior : 
sed et multo magis consolatoria quam olim in lege veteri fiierat ; 
quum porta caeli clausa persisteret, 
et obscurior etiam via ad caelum videbatur : 
quando tarn pauci regnum caelorum quaerere curabant ; 

( 216 ) 



Book III. Chap. XVIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter XVIII.— That Temporal Miseries are to be borne 
WITH Patience after the Example of Christ. 

I. Son. 

I came down from heaven for thy salvation : 

I took upon me thy miseries not of necessity but moved thereto 

that thou mightest learn patience, [by charity ; 

and mightest bear without repining the miseries of this life. 

For from the hour of my birth, 

till my death on the cross ; 

never was I without endurance of suffering. 

Great was the want of temporal things that I endured : 

many the complaints that I often heard against me ; 

I meekly bore confusion and reproaches : 

for my benefits I received ingratitude ; 

for my miracles blasphemies, 

for my doctrine rebukes. 

II. Lord, 

because thou wast patient in thy lifetime, Fpatience ; 

in this chiefly fulfilling the commandment of thy Father : [all with 
it is fitting that I a pitiful sinner should according to thy will take 
and should as long as thou pleasest support the burthen of this 

[corruptible life in order to my salvation. 
For though this present life is felt to be burthensome ; 
yet it is now become through thy grace exceeding meritorious, 
and by thy example and the footsteps of thy saints more support- 

[able to the weak and more bright : 
it is also much more full of consolation than it was formerly under 
while the gate of heaven remained shut, [the old law ; 

and the way also to heaven seemed more obscure : 
when so few cared to seek the kingdom of heaven ; 

i 217 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XIX. 

sed neque qui tunc justi erant et salvandi ante passionem tiiam et 
[sacrae mortis debitum caeleste regnum poterant introire. 

O quantas tibi gratias teneor referre ; 
quod viam rectam et bonam dignatus es mihi et cunctis fidelibus ad 
Nam vita tua vita nostra ; [aeternum regnum tuum ostendere. 

et per sanctam patientiam ambulamus ad te qui es corona nostra. 
Nisi tu nos praecessisses et docuisses : 
quis sequi curaret ? 

Heu quanti longe retroque manerent ; 
nisi tua praeclara exempla inspicerent. 
Ecce adhuc tepescimus auditis tot signis tuis et doctrinis : 

quid fieret si tantum lumen ad sequendum te non haberemus 1 



Cap. XIX.— De Tolerantia Injuriarum, et Quis X'erus 
Patiens Probetur. 

I. Quid est quod loqueris fili ? 
Cessa conqueri ; 

considerata mea et aliorum sanctorum passione. 
Nondum usque ad sanguinem restitisti. 

Parum est quod tu pateris in comparatione eorum qui tarn multa 
tarn fortiter tentati, [passi sunt, 

tarn graviter tribulati ; 
tarn multipliciter probati et exercitati. 
Oportet te igitur aliorum graviora ad mentem reducere : 
ut levius feras tua minima. 
Et si tibi minima non videnlur ; 
vide ne et hoc tua faciat impatientia. 
Sive tamen parva sive magna sint ; 
stude cuncta patienter sufferre. 

( 218 ) 



Book III. Chap. XIX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and not even they who were then just and of the saved could enter 

[into thy heavenly kingdom before thy passion 
and the debt of thy sacred death. 
Oh how great thanks am I bound to return to thee ; 
for having vouchsafed to show to me and all the faithful the right 
P^or t"hy life is our life ; [andgood way to thine everlasting kingdom, 
and by holy patience we walk on to thee who art our crown. 
If thou hadst not gone before and taught us : 
who would care to follow? 

Alas how many would have stayed afar off and a great way behind ; 
if they had not had before their eyes thine excelling example. 
Behold we are still lukewarm though we have heard of thy so 

[many miracles and teachings : 
what should we be if we had not so great light whereby to follow 

[thee ? 



Chapter XIX.— Of Supporting Injuries, and who is 
Proved to be Truly Patient. 

I. What is that thou sayest my son? 
Cease to complain ; 

considering my passion and that of other saints. 
Thou hast not yet resisted unto blood. 

What thou sufferest is but little in comparison of those who have 
who have been so strongly tempted, [sutlered so much, 

so grievously afflicted ; 
in so manifold ways tried and exercised. 

Thou must then call to mind the heavier sufferings of others ; 
that thou mayest the more easily bear the very little things thou 
And if to thee they seem not very little ; [suft'erest. 

take heed lest this also proceed from thine impatience. 
But whether they be little or great ; 
strive to bear them all with patience. 

( 219 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XIX. 

Quanto melius ad patiendum te disponis ; 
tanto sapientius agis et amplius promereris: 
feres quoque levius ; 
animo et usu ad hoc non segniter paratis. 

Nee dicas, 
non valeo haec ab homine tali pati : 
nee hujuscemodi mihi patienda sunt, 
grave enim intulit damnum, 

et improperat mihi quae numquam cogitaveram ; 
sed ab alio libenter patiar, 
et sicut patienda videro. 
Insipiens est talis cogitatio, 
quae virtutem patientiae non considerat, 
nee a quo coronanda erit ; 

sed magis personas et offensas sibi illatas perpendit. 
Non est verus patiens qui pati non vult nisi quantum sibi visum 
et a quo sibi placuerit. [fuerit ; 

Verus autem patiens non attendit a quo homine utrum a praelato 
an ab aliquo aequali aut inferiori ; [suo, 

utrum a bono et sancto viro vel a perverse et indigno exerceatur : 

sed indifferenter ab omni creatura quantumcumque et quotiescum- 

[que ei aliquid adversi accident, 
totum hoc de manu Dei gratanter accipit et ingens lucrum reputat ; 

quia nil apud Deum quantumlibet parvum pro Deo tamen passum 

[poterit sine merito transire. 
Esto itaque expeditus ad pugnam : 
si vis habere victoriam. 
Sine certamine, 

non potes venire ad patientiae coronam. 
Si pati non vis ; 
recusas coronari. 
Si autem coronari desideras ; 
certa viriliter, 
sustine patienter. 
Sine labore non tenditur ad requiem ; 

( 220 ) 



Book III. Chap. XIX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

The better thou disposest thyself for suffering ; 

the more wisely dost thou act and the more fully dost thou merit : 

and thou wilt bear it more lightly ; 

when thy mind is well prepared for it and thou art accustomed to it. 

And say not, 
I cannot bear these things from such a man : 
nor are things of this kind to be endured by me, 
for he has done me a great injury, 
and he upbraids me with things I never thought of; 
but I will gladly suffer from another, 
and as far as I shall judge fitting for me to suffer. 
Such a thought is foolish, 
for it considers not the virtue of patience, 
nor by whom it shall be crowned ; 

but rather broods over the persons and the offences given to self. 
He is not a truly patient man who will suffer no more than seems 
and from whom he pleases. [him good ; 

The truly patient man considers not by what man he is tried 
by an equal or by an inferior ; [whether by his superior, 

whether by a good and holy man or by one that is perverse and 

[unworthy : 
but how much soever and how often soever any adversity happen 

[to him from any thing created, 
he takes it all from the hand of God with joy and esteems it great 

[gain ; 
for nothing how little soever that is suffered for the sake of God 

[can pass without merit in the sight of God. 
Be thou therefore girt for the fight ; 

if thou desirest to gain the victory. 

Without a struggle, 

thou canst not obtain the crown of patience. 

If thou wilt not suffer : 

thou refusest to be crowned. 

But if thou desirest to be crowned ; 

fight manfully, 

endure patiently. 

Without labour we are not on the way to rest ; 

( 221 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XX. 

nee sine pugna venitur ad victoriam. 

II. Fiat Domine mihi possibile pergratiam ; 
quod mihi impossibile videtur per naturam. 
Tu scis, 

quod modicum possum pati ; 
et quod cite dejicior levi exsurgente adversitate. 
Efficiatur milii quaelibet exercitatio tribulationis pro nomine tuo 
nam pati et vexari pro te ; [amabilis et optabilis ; 

valde salubre est animae meae. 



Cap. XX.— De Confessione Propriae Infirmitatis et 
Hujus Vitae Miseriis. 

I. Confitebor adversum me injustitiam meam ; 
confitebor tibi Domine infirmitatem meam. 
Saepe parva res est ; 
quae me dejicit et contristat. 
Propono me fortiter acturum : 
sed quum modica teniatio venerit ; 
magna mihi angustia tit. 
Valde vihs quandoque res est ; 
unde gravis tentatio provenit. 

Et dum puto me ahquantulum tutum quum non sentio ; 
invenio me nonnumquam paene devictum ex levi flatu. 

Vide ergo Domine humiUtatem meam et fragihtatem tibi undique 

[nolam : 
miserere et eripe me de luto ut non inligar; 
ne permaneam dejectus usquequaque. 

Hoc est quod me frequenter reverberat et coram te confundit ; 
quod tam labilis sum et infirmus ad resistendum passionibus. 
Et si non omnino ad consensionem : 
tamen mihi etiam molesta et gravis est earum insectatio ; 

( 222 ) 



Book III. Chap. XX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and without fighting we come not to victory. 

II. May thy grace O Lord make that possible to me ; 
which seems impossible to me by nature. 
Thou knowest, 
that I can bear but Httle ; 

and that I am quickly cast down when a small adversity arises. 
Let any exercise of tribulation become an object of love and desire 



for to suffer and to be harassed for thee ; 
is very healthful to my soul. 



to me because 
of thy name ; 



Chapter XX.— Of the Confession of our own Infirmity 

AND OF THE MISERIES OF THIS LiFE. 

I. I will confess against myself mine injustice ; 
I will confess to thee O Lord my infirmity. 
It is oftentimes a small thing ; 
which casts me down and troubles me. 
I make a resolution to behave myself valiantly : 
but when a small temptation comes ; 
I am brought into great straits. 
It is sometimes a very trifling thing ; 
whence a grievous temptation springs up. 

And when I think myself somewhat safe while I have no feeling; 
I sometimes find myself almost overcome by the merest puff of 

[wind. 

Behold then O Lord my low estate and my frailty which are 

[every way known to thee : 
have pity on me and draw me out of the mire that I stick not fast 
that I may not abide utterly cast down for ever. [therein ; 

This it is which often beats me back and confounds me in thy sight; 
that I am so prone to fall and have so little strength to resist my 
And although I do not altogether consent : [passions. 

yet their pursuit of me is troublesome and grievous ; 

( 223 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XX. 

et taedet valde sic quotidie vivere in lite. 

Exhinc nota mihi fit infirmitas mea ; [discedunt. 

quia multo facilius irruunt abominandae semper phantasiae qiiam 

Utinamfortissime Deus Israel zelatoranimarum fidelium respicias 

[servi tui laborem et dolorem ; 

assistasque illi in omnibus ad quaecumque perrexerit. 

Robora me caelesti fortitudine : 

ne vetus homo misera caro spiritui necdum plena subacta prae- 

adversus quam certare oportebit, [valeat dominari ; 

quamdiu spiratur in hac vita miserrima. 

II. Heu qualis est haec vita ; 
ubi non desunt tribulationes et miseriae, 
ubi plena laqueis et hostibus sunt omnia? 
Nam una tribulatione seu tentatione recedente alia accedit: 
sed et priore adhuc durante conflictu : 
alii plures superveniunt et insperate. 

Et quomodo potest amari vita tantas habens amantadines: 
tot subjecta calamitatibus et miseriis ? 
Quomodo etiam dicitur vita : 
tot generans mortes et pestes ? 
Et tamen amatur : 
et delectari in ea a multis quaeritur. 

Reprehenditur frequenter mimdus quod fallax sit et vanus : 
nee tamen facile relinquitur ; 
quia concupiscentiae carnis nimis dominantur. 
Sed alia trahunt ad amandum ; 
alia ad contemnendum. 
Trahunt ad amorem mundi, 
desiderium carnis, 

desiderium oculorum et superbia vitae ; 
sed poenae ac miseriae juste sequentes ea, 
odium mundi pariunt et taedium 

Sed vincit proh dolor delectatio prava mentem mundo deditam: 
et esse sub sentibus delicias reputat ; [gustavit. 

quia Dei suavitatem et internam virtutis amoenitatem nee vidit nee 

( 224 ) 



Book 111. Chap. XX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and it is a weariness to live thus daily in conflict. fthey depart. 
Hence my infirmity is made known to me ; [upon me than 

because loathsome imaginations always much more easily rush in 
Would that thou the most mighty Ood of Israel the zealous 

[lover of faithful souls wouldest behold 
the labour and sorrow of thy servant ; 
and stand by him in all things to whatsoever he directs his steps. 
Strengthen me with heavenly fortitude : 

lest the old man the miserable flesh not fully subject to the spirit 

should prevail 
and get the 
upper hand ; 



against which it will behove us to fight, 

as long as we breathe in this most wretched life. 



II. Alas what kind of life is this ; 
where troubles and miseries are never wanting, 
where all things are full of snares and enemies ? 
For when one trouble or temptation departs another comes : 
yea and while the first conflict lasts ; 
many others come on and when least expected. 

And how can a life be loved which has such great bitterness : 
is subject to so inany calamities and miseries ? 
How can it even be called life: 
since it begets so many deaths and plagues ? 
And yet it is loved ; 
and many seek their delight in it. 
Many blame the world as being deceitful and vain : 
yet they are not willing to leave it ; 
because the lusts of the flesh have too much sway. 
But some things draw them to love the world ; 
others to despise it. 

These things draw to the love of the world, 
the lust of the flesh, 

the lust of the eyes and the pride of life ; 
but the pains and miseries which justly follow these things, 



breed a hatred and loathing of the world. 

But alas sinful pleasure prevails over the worldly soul ; 

and she thinks it a delight to be under these briars ; 



of virtue, 
pleasures 
inward 



because she has neither seen nor tasted the sweetness of God nor the 

( 225 ) Q 



Di; Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXI. 

Qui autem mundum perfecte contemnunt. 
et Deo vivere sub sancta disciplina student : 

isti divinam dulcedinem veris abrenuntiatoribus promissam non 
et quam graviter mundus errat et varie fallitur, [ignorant ; 

clarius vident. 



Cap. XXI.— Quod in Deo super omnia Bona et Dona 
Requiescendum est. 

Super omnia et in omnibus requiesces anima mea in Domino 
quia ipse sanctorum aeterna requies. [semper ; 

I. Da mihi dulcissime et amantissime Jesu in te super omnem 
super omnem salutem et pulchritudinem, [creaturam reqniescere : 
super omnem gloriam et honorem ; 
super omnem potentiam et dignitatem, 
super omnem scientiam et subtilitatem : 
super omnes divitias et artes, 
super omnem laetitiam et exsultationem ; 
super omnem famam et laudem, 
super omnem suavitatem et consolationem : 
super omnem spem et promissionem, 
super omne meritum et desiderium ; 

super omnia dona et munera quae potes dare et infundere : 
super omne gaudium et jubilationem, 
quam potest mens capere et sentire ; 

denique super angelos et arcliangelos et super omnem exercitum 
super omnia visibilia et invisibilia ; [caeli : 

et super omne quod tu Deus meus non es. 

Quia tu Domine Deus meus super omnia optimus es ; 
tu solus altissimus tu solus potentissimus : 
tu solus sufficientissimus, 

( 226 ; 



Book III. Chap. XX!. 



Ok thic Imitation of Christ. 



But they who perfectly despise the world, 
and make it their aim to live to God under holy discipline : [all ; 
experience the divine sweetness promised to those who truly forsake 
and how grievously the world is mistaken and in how many ways 
these see clearly. [it is deceived. 



Chapter XXI. 



-Th.\t we are to Rest in God above all 
Goods and Gifts. 



Above all things and in all things shalt thou my soul rest always 
for he is the eternal rest of the saints. [in the Lord ; 



I. Grant me most sweet and loving Jesus to rest in thee above 



above al 
above al 
above al 
above al 
above al 
above al 
above al 
above al 
above al 
above al 
above al 
above al 



[all things created : 



1 health and beauty, 

1 glory and honour ; 

1 power and dignity, 

1 knowledge and subtlety : 

1 riches and arts, 

1 joy and gladness ; 

1 fame and praise, 

1 sweetness and consolation : 

1 hope and promise, 

1 merit and desire ; 

I gifts and boons which thou canst give and infuse : 

1 joy and jubilation, 
which the mind can contain and feel ; 

in a word above all angels and archangels and all the host of 
above all things visible and invisible ; [heaven : 

and above all that is not thee my God. 

For thou O Lord my God art above all things best ; 
thou alone most high thou alone most powerful : 
thou alone most sufficient, 

( 227 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXI. 

et plenissimus ; 

tu solus suavissimus et solatiosissimus, 
tu solus pulcherrimus et amantissimus : 

tu solus nobilissimus et gloriosissimus super omnia ; [erunt: 

in quo cuncta bona simul et perfecte sunt et semper fuerunt et 

[donas ; 
atque ideo minus est et insufficiens quidquid praeter te ipsum mihi 

aut de te ipso revelas vel promittis te non viso nee plene adepto. 

Quoniam quidem non potest cor meum veraciter requiescere nee 
nisi in te requiescat ; [totaliter contentari, 

et omnia dona, 
omnemque creaturam transcendat. [tor universae creaturae : 

O mi dilectissime sponse Jesu Christe amator purissime domina- 
quis mihi det pennas verae libertatis ad volandum et pausandum 

[in te ? 
O quando ad plenum dabitur mihi vacare et videre quam suavis 
Ouando ad plenum me recolligam in te? [es Domine Deus mens? 
ut prae amore tuo non sentiam me, 
sed te solum supra omnem sensum et modum ; 
in niodo non omnibus noto. 
Nunc autem frequenter gemo ; 
et infelicitatemmeam cum dolore porto. 

Quia multa mala in hac vallemiseriarum occurrunt quae me saepius 
saepius impediunt et distrahunt, Fconturbant contristant 

alliciunt et implicant ; Let obnubilant : 

ne liberum habeam accessum ad te, 
et ne jucundis fruar amplexibus praesto semper beatis spiritibus. 

Moveat te suspirium meum et desolatio multiplex in terra ; 
O Jesu splendor aeternae gloriae, 
solamen peregrinantis animae. 
Apud te est os meum sine voce ; 
et silcntium meum loquitur tibi. 
Usquequo tardat venire Uominus meus.? 
Veniat ad me pauperculum suum ; 
et lactum faciat. 

( 228 ) 



Book HI. Chap. XXL Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and most full ; 

thou alone most sweet and most comfortable, 
thou alone most fair and most loving : 
thou alone most noble and most glorious above all things ; 
in whom all things are at once and perfectly good and ever have been 

[and shall be : 
and therefore that is too little and fails to satisfy me whatever thou 

[bestowest upon me beside thyself; 
or whatever thou revealcst or promisest concerning thyself as long 

[as I do not see or fully enjoy thee. 
Because indeed my heart cannot truly rest nor be entirely con- 
unless it rest in thee ; [tented, 

and rise above all thy gifts, 

and all things created. [all creation : 

O my most beloved spouse Christ Jesus most pure lover ruler of 

who will give me the wings of true liberty to tly and repose in thee ? 

Oh when shall it be fully granted me to be at leisure and see how 
When shall I fully recollect myself in thee ? Tsweet thou 

that through the love of thee I may not feel myself, jart OLord 
but thee alone above all feeling and measure ; Imy God ? 

in a manner not known to all. 
But now I often sigh ; 
and bear my unhappiness with grief 

Because I meet with many evils in this vale of miseries which 
which often hinder and distract me, rfrequently disturb me sadden 
allure and entangle me ; [me and bring a cloud overme: 

so that I may not have free access to thee, [spirits. 

nor enjoy thy sweet embraces so readily granted to the blessed 
Let my sighing move thee and the manifold desolation upon 
O Jesus brightness of the eternal glory, [earth ; 

comfort of the pilgrim soul. 
With thee are my lips without a voice ; 
and my very silence speaks to thee. 
How long delays my Lord his coming ? 
Let him come to me his poor servant ; 
and make me glad. 

( 229 ) 



De Imitatioxe Chkistj. Lib. III. Cap. XXI. 

Mittat manum suam ; 

et miserum eripiat de omni angustia. 

Veni veni ; 

quia sine te nulla erit laeta dies aut hora ; 

quia tu laetitia mea et sine te vacua est mensa mea. 

Miser sum et quodammodo incarceratus et compedibus gravatus : 

donee luce praesentiae tuae me reficias ac libertati dones ; 

vultumque amicabilem demonstres. 

Quaerant alii pro te aliud quodcumque libuerit : 

mihi aliud interim nil placet nee placebit ; 

nisi tu Deus mens spes mea, 

salus aeterna. 

Non reticebo nee depreeari cessabo : 

donee gratia tua revertatur ; 

mihique tu intus loquaris. 

II. Eeee adsum : 
eeee ad te ; 

quia invoeasti me. 

Lacrimae tuae et desiderium animae tuae ; 

humiliatio tua et eontritio cordis inclinaverunt me et adduxerunt 

[ad te. 

III. Etdixi. 
Domine vocavi te, 
et desideravi frui te ; 

paratus omnia respuere propter te. 

Tu enim prior excitasti me ; 

ut quaererem te. 

Sis ergo benedietus Domine ; 

qui fecisti banc bonitatem cum servo tuo secundum multitudinem 

Quid habet ultra dicere servus tuus coram te ; [misericordiae tuae. 

nisi ut humiliet se valde ante te, 

memor semper propriae iniquitatis et vilitatis? 

Non enim est similis tui ; 

in cunetis mirabilibus caeli et terrae. 

Sunt opera tua bona valde : 

judicia vera ; 

( 230 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

Let him stretch forth his hand ; 

and deliver me a wretch from all anguish. 

Come come ; 

for without thee there will be no glad day nor hour ; 

for thou art my gladness and without thee my table is unspread. 

I am miserable and in a manner imprisoned and laden with fetters : 

till thou comfort me with the light of thy presence and restore me 

and show me a cheerful countenance. [to liberty ; 

Let others seek instead of thee whatever else they please : 

nothing else the while pleases me nor shall please me ; 

but thou my God my hope, 

my eternal salvation. 

I will not hold my peace nor cease to entreat thee : 

until thy grace return ; 

and thou speakest inwardly to me. 

IL Behold here am I : 
behold I come to thee ; 
for thou hast called me. 
Thy tears and the desire of thy soul ; 

thy humiliation and contrition of lieart have made me stoop and 

[brought me to thee. 

in. And I said. 
Lord I have called upon thee, 
and have desired to enjoy thee ; 
being ready to reject all things for thee. 
For thou didst first stir me up ; 
that I might seek thee. 
Be thou therefore blessed O Lord ; 

who hast done this goodness to thy servant according to the multi- 
What more has thy servant to say in thy presence ; Ftude of thy 
but to humble himself exceedingly before thee, [mercy, 

always remembering his own iniquity and vileness .'' 
For there is none like unto thee ; 
amongst all things wonderful in heaven or on earth. 
Thy works are very good : 
thy judgments are true ; 

( 231 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXII. 

et providentia tua reguntur universa. 
Laus ergo tibi et gloria o Patris Sapientia : 
te laudet et benedicat os meum ; 
anima mea et cuncta creata simul. 



Cap. XXI I.— De Recordatione Multiplicium Beneficiorum 

Dei. 

I. Aperi Domine cor meum in lege tua ; 
,et in praeceptis tuis doce me ambulare. 
Da mihi intelligere voluntatem tuam : 

et cum magna reverentia ac diligenti consideratione beneficia tua 
ut digne tibi exhinc valeamgratias referre. Ttam in generali quam 
Verum scio et confiteor ; Lin speciali memorari ; 

nee pro minimo puncto me posse debitas gratiarum laudes per- 
Minor ego sum omnibus bonis mihi praestitis : [solvere, 

et quum luam nobilitatem attendo ; 
deficit prae magnitudine spiritus meus. 

II. Omnia quae in anima habemus et corpore, 

et quaecumque exterius vel interius naturaliter vel supernaturaliter 
et te beneficum pium ac bonum commendant ; rpossidemus tua 
a quo bona cuncta accepimus. [sunt beneficia : 

Etsi alius plura alius pauciora accepit : 
omnia tamen tua sunt ; 
et sine te nee minimum potest haberi. 

Ille qui majora accepit non potest merito suo gloriari ; 
neque super alios extolli, 
nee minori insultare : 

quia ille major et melior qui sibi minus adscribit ; 
et in regratiando humilior est atque devotior. 
Et qui omnibus viliorem se existimat et indignioren: se judical ; 
aptior est ad percipienda majora. 

( 232 ) 



Book 111. <'iiAi>. XXII. Of the Imit.vtion ok Christ. 

and by thy providence all things are ruled. 

Praise therefore and glory be to thee O Wisdom of the Father : 

let my mouth praise and bless thee ; 

my soul and all created things tot^ether. 



Chapter XXII.— Of the Remembrance of the Manifold 

Benefits of God. 

I. Open O Lord my heart in thy law ; fas in particular ; 
and teach me to walk in thy commandments, las well in general 
Give me to understand thy will : Ition all thy benefits 
and to commemorate with great reverence and diligent considera- 
that from this time forth I may be able worthily to give thee thanks. 
But I know and confess ; 

that I am notable to return due thanks not even for the least point. 
I am less than all thy goods bestowed upon me : 
and when I consider thine excellency ; 
my spirit fails before the greatness of it. 

II. All we have in soul and body, 

all we possess without or within naturally or supernaturally are thy 
and show forth thy bounty mercy and goodness ; [benefits : 

from whom we have received all good thmgs. 

And though one has received more another less : 
yet all is thine ; 
and without thee even the least cannot be had. 

He who has received greater things cannot glory in his own merit ; 
nor boast himself above others, 
nor insult over the lesser : 

because he is indeed greater and better who attributes less to him- 
and is more humble and devout in returning thanks. [self; 

And he who esteems himself the vilest of men and judges himself 
is fittest to receive the greatest blessings. [the most unworthy ; 

( 233 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXII. 

Qui autem pauciora accepit ; 
contristari non debet nee indignanter ferre, 
neque ditiori invidere : 

sed te potius attendere et tuam bonitatem niaxime laudare ; 
quod tarn affluenter, 
tarn gratis et libenter sine personarum acceptione tua munera 

Omnia ex te ; [largiris. 

et ideo in omnibus es laudandus. 

III. Tu scis quid unicuique donari expediat : 
et cur iste minus et ille amplius habeat, 
non nostrum sed tuum est hoc discernere ; 
apud quern singulorum definita sunt merita. 

Unde Domine Deus pro magno etiam reputo beneficio non multa 

fhabere unde exterius et secundum 
[homines laus et gloria apparet ; 
ita ut considerataquis paupertate et viUtate personae suae non modo 
[gravitatem aut tristitiam vel dejectionem inde concipiat : 
sed potius consolationem et hilaritatem magnam ; 
quia tu Deus pauperes et humiles atque huic mundo despectos, 
tibi elegisti in familiares et domesticos. 
Testes sunt ipsi apostoli tui ; 
quos principes super omnem terram constituisti. 
Fuerunt tamen sine querela conversati in mundo ; 
tam humiles et simplices sine omni malitia et dolo : 
ut etiam pati contumelias gauderent pro nomine tuo ; 
et quae mundus abhorret ipsi amplecterentur affectu magno. 

Nihil ergo amatorem tuum et cognitorem beneficiorum tuorum 

[ita laetificare debet ; 
sicut voluntas tua in eo et beneplacitum aeternaedispositionistuae: 
de qua tantum contentari debet et consolari ; 
ut ita libenter velit esse minimus sicut aliquis optaret esse maximus : 

et ita pacificus et contentus in novissimo sicut in loco primo ; 

atque ita libenter despicabilis et abjectus nuUius quoque nominis et 

[famae, 
( 234 "> 



Book III. Chap. XXII. Of tiik I.mit.xtiox of Chri=;t. 

Hut he who has received fewer: 
must not be sorrowful nor take it ill, 
nor envy him who is more enriched : 

but must wait rather on thee and above all praise thy goodness ; 
for that so plentifully, 
so freely and willingly thou bestowest thy gifts without respect of 

All things are from thee ; [persons, 

and therefore thou art to be praised in all. 

III. Thou knowest what is fit to be given to every one : 
and why one has less and another more, 
is not ours to decide but thine ; 
who keepest an exact account of the merits of each. 

Wherefore Lord God I take it for a great benefit not to have much 

[which outwardly and according to men 
appears praiseworthy and glorious ; 
so that a man considering his own poverty and meanness ought not 
[therefore to be weighed down or to be grieved and dejected : 
but rather to receive comfort and great joy ; 

because thou O God hast chosen the poor and humble and those 
for thy familiar friends and servants. fwho are despised 

Witness thy apostles themselves : [by this world, 

whom thou didst make princes over all the earth. 
And yet they walked in this world without rebuke ; 
so humble and simple without any malice or guile ; 
that they were even glad to suffer reproaches for thy name ; 
and what the world flies from they embraced with great affection. 
Nothing therefore should so gladden him who loves thee and 

[knows thy benefits ; 
as thy will in him and the good pleasure of thy eternal appoint- 
wherewith he ought to be so far contented and comforted ; [ment : 
as to be as willing to be the least as another would wish to be the 

[greatest : 
and to enjoy as much peace and content in the lowest place as in 

[the highest ; 
and to be as willing to be despicable and mean and of no name and 

[repute, 

( 235 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXIII. 

sicut ceteris honorabilior et major in mundo. 

Nam voluntas tua et amor honoris tui omnia excedere debet : 

et plus eum consolari magisque placere ; 

quam omnia beneficia sibi data vel danda. 



Cap. XXIII.— De Quatuor Magnam Importantibus 

Pacem. 

I. Fili, 
nunc docebo te viam pacis et verae libertatis. 

Fac Domine quod dicis ; 
quia hoc mihi gratum est audire. 

Stude fili alterius potius facere voluntatem quam tuam. 
Elige semper minus quam plus habere. 
Quaere semper inferiorem locum ; 
et omnibus subesse. 
Opta semper et ora ; 
ut voluntas Dei integre in te fiat. 
Ecce talis homo ingreditur fines pacis et quictis. 

Domine sernio tuus iste brevis ; 
multum in se continet perfection is. 
Parvus est dictu ; 

sed plenus sensu et uber in fructu. 
Nam si posset a me fideliter custodiri : 
non deberet tam facilis in me turbatio oriri. 
Nam quoties me impacatum sentio et gravatum ; 
ab hac doctrina me recessisse invenio. 

Sed tu qui omnia potes et animae profectum semper diligis : 
adauge majorem gratiam ; 
ut possim tuum complere sennonem, 
et meam perficere salutem. 

II. Oratio contra cogitationes malas. 
Domine Deus mcus ne clongeris a me ; 

( 236 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXIIT. Of the Imitation- of Christ. 

as to be preferred in honour and greater in the world than others. 
For thy will and the love of thine honour ought to surpass all : 
and to comfort and please him more ; 
than all the benefits which thou hast given or shalt give. 



Chapter XXIII.— Of Four Things which Bring Much 

Peace. 

I. Son, 
I will now teach thee the way of peace and of true liberty. 

Do Lord as thou sayest ; 
for this it pleases me to hear. 

Make this thine aim my son rather to do the will of another than 
Ever choose rather to have less than more. [thine own. 

Always seek the lower place ; 
and to be under the authority of all. 
Always wish and pray ; 

that the will of God may be wholly done in thee. 
Behold such a man as this enters into the region of peace and rest. 

Lord this thy short discourse ; 
contains much perfection. 
Small though it be in word; 
yet is it full in sense and plentiful in fruit. 
For if I could faithfully keep it ; 
I should not be so easily troubled. 

For as often as I feel myself disquieted and burthened ; 
I find that I have strayed from this doctrine. 

But do thou who canst do all things and always lovest the progress 
increase in me thy grace ; [of the soul : 

that I may accomplish these thy words, 
and perfect my salvation. 

II. A PRAYER AGAINST EVIL THOUGHTS. 
O Lord my God depart not far from me ; 

( 237 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXIII. 

Deus meus in auxilium meum respice : 

quoniam insurrexerunt in me variae cogitationes et timores niagni ; 

affligentes animam meam. 

Ouomodo pertransibo illaesus ? 

Ouomodo perfringam eas ? 

Ego inquit ante te ibo ; 
et gloriosos terrae humiliabo. 
•Aperiam januas carceris ; 
et arcana secretorum revelabo tibi. 

Fac Domine ut loqueris ; 
et fugiant a facie tua omnes iniquae cogitationes. 
Haec spes et unica consolatio mea, 
ad te in omni tribulatione confugere : 
tibi confidere, 
te ex intimo invocare ; 
et patienter consolationem tuam exspectare. 

III. Oratio pro illuminatione mentis. 

Clarifica me Jesu bone claritate interni luminis ; 
et educ de habitaculo cordis mei tenebras universas. 
Cohibe evagationes multas ; 
et vim facientes elide tentationes. 
Pugna fortiter pro me et expugna malas bestias, 
concupiscentias dico illecebrosas : 
ut fiat pax in virtute tua ; 

et abundantia laudis tuae resonet in aula sancta hoc est in conscientia 
Impera ventis et tempestatibus ; [pura. 

die mari quiesce et aquiioni ne flaveris ; 
et erit tranquillitas magna. 

Emitte lucem tuam et veritatem ut luceant super terram : 
quia terra sum inanis et vacua ; 
donee illumines me. 
Effunde gratiam desuper, 
perfunde cor meum rore caclesti : 
ministra devotionis aquas, 
ad irrigandam faciem terrae ; 
ad producendum fructum bonum et optimum. 

( 238 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXI II. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

my God look on mc to lielp me : 

for divers thoughts and great fears have risen up against me ; 

afflicting my soul. 

How shall I get over them without hurt.^ 

How shall I break through them? 

I will go before thee saith he : 
and will humble the great ones of the earth. 
1 will open the gates of the prison ; 
and will reveal to thee hidden things of secret places. 

Do O Lord as thou sayest ; 
and let all these evil thoughts flee from before thy face. 
This is my hope and my one consolation, 
to fly to thee in every tribulation : 
to trust in thee, 
to call on thee from my heart ; 
and patiently to wait for thy consolation. 

III. A PRAYER FOR THE ENLIGHTENING OF THE MIND. 

Enlighten me O good Jesus with the brightness of internal light ; 
and cast out all darkness from the dwelling of my heart. 
Restrain my many wandering thoughts ; 
and crush the temptations which violently assault me. 
Fight mightily for me and overcome these wicked beasts, 
I mean these enticing lusts : 
that there may be peace in thy strength ; 

and that the abundance of thy praise may resound in the holy court 
Command the winds and storms ; [which is a clean conscience, 
say to the sea be still and to the north wind blow thou not ; 
and there shall be a great calm. 

Send out thy light and thy truth that they may shine upon the 
for I am as earth that is empty and void ; [earth : 

till thou enlightenest me. 
Pour forth thy grace from above, 
water my heart with the dew of heaven : 
send down the waters of devotion, 
to wash the face of the earth ; 
that it bring forth good and perfect fruit. 

( 239 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXIV. 

Eleva mentem pressam mole peccatorum ; 
et ad caelestia totum desiderium meum suspende : 
ut gustata suavitate supernae felicitatis ; 
pigeat de terrenis cogitare. 

Rape me et eripe ab omni creaturarum indurabili consolatione ; 
quia nulla res creata appetitum meum valet plenarie quietare et 
Junge me tibi inseparabili dilectionis vinculo : [consolari. 

quoniam tu solus sufficis amanti ; 
et absque te frivola sunt universa. 



Cap. XXIV.— De Evit.a.tione Curiosae Inquisitionis super 

Alterius Vita. 
I. Fili, 
noli esse curiosus ; 
nee vacuas gereresollicitudines. 
Quid hoc vel illud ad te ; 
tu me sequere. 

Quid enim ad te utrum ille sit talis vel talis : 
aut iste sic et sic agit vel loquitur ? 
Tu non indiges respondere pro aliis ; 
sed pro te ipso rationem reddes. 
Quid ergo te implicas? 

Ecce ego omnes cognosco et cuncta quae sub sole fiunt video : 
et scio qualiter cum unoquoque sit, 
quid cogitet, 
quid velit ; 

et ad quern finem tendat ejus intentio. 
Mihi igitur omnia committenda sunt, 
tu vero serva te in bona pace ; 
et dimitte agitantem agitare quantum volucrit. 
Veniet super eum quidquid fecerit vel dixerit ; 
quia me fallere non potest. 

II. Non sit tibi curae de magni nominis umbra : 

( 240 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXIV. Of the Tmit.ation of Christ. 

Lift up my mind oppressed with the load of sins ; 
and raise my whole desire towards heavenly things : 
that having tasted the sweetness of the bliss above ; 
it may irk me to think of earthly things. 

Tear me away and snatch me from all fleeting consolation of the 
for no created thing can fully still and satisfy my desire, [creature ; 
Join me to thyself with the inseparable bond of love : 
for thou alone suffices! him who loves thee ; 
and without thee all things are worthless. 



Chapter XXIV.— That we are not to be Curious in 
Inquiring into the Lives of Others. 

I. Son, 

be not curious ; 

and take not on thyself empty cares. 

What is this or that to thee ; 

follow thou me. 

For what is it to thee whether this man be such or such : 

or that other do or say thus and thus ? 

Thou needest not to answer for others ; 

but must give an account for tliyself. 

Why then dost thou entangle thyself ? 

Behold I know every one and see all things that are done under 

and I know how it is with every one, [the sun : 

what he thinks, 

what he would have ; 

at what his intention aims. 

All things therefore are to be committed to me, 

but keep thou thyself in good peace ; 

and let the busybody be as busy as he will. 

Whatsoever he shall do or say will come upon himself; 

because he cannot deceive me. 

II. Have no care for the shadow of a great name : 

( 241 ) K 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXV. 

non de multorum familiaritate ; 

nee de privata hominum dilectione. 

Ista enim generant distractiones ; 

et magnas in corde obscuritates. 

Libenter loquerer tibi verbum meum et abscondita revelarem : 

si adventum meum diligenter observares ; 

et ostium cordis mihi aperires. 

Esto providus, 

et vigila in orationibus ; 

et humilia te in omnibus. 



Cap. XXV.— In quibus firma Pax Cordis et Verus 
Profectus consistit. 

I. Fili. 
Ego locutus sum pacem relinquo vobis pacem meam do vobis ; 
non quomodo mundus dat ego do vobis. 
Pacem omnes desiderant : 

sed quae ad veram pacem pertinent non omnes curant. 
Pax mea cum humilibus et mansuetis corde. 
Pax tua erit in multa patientia. 
Si me audieris et vocem meam secutus fueris ; 
poteris multa pace frui. 

Quid igitur faciam? 

In omni re attende tibi quid facias et quid dicas : 
et omnem intentionem tuam ad hoc dirige, 
ut milii soli placeas ; 
et extra me nihil cupias vel quaeras ; 
sed et de aliorum dictis vel factis nil temere judices, 
nee cum rebus tibi non commissis te implices ; 
et poterit fieri ut parum vel raro turberis. 
Numquam autem sentire aliquam turbationem, 

( 242 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

neither for the familiar acquaintance of many ; 

nor for the personal love of men. 

For these things beget distractions ; 

and great obscurity in heart. 

Gladly would I speak to thee my word and reveal my secret things 

if thou wouldest diligently watch for my coming ; [to thee : 

and open to me the door of thy heart. 

Be careful, 

and watch unto prayer ; 

and humble thyself in all things. 



Chapter XXV.— In what Things firm Pface of Heart 
AND True Progress consist. 

I. Son. 
I have said peace I leave with you my peace I give unto you ; 
not as the world giveth give I unto you. 
Peace is what all desire : 

but not all care for those things which make for true peace. 
My peace is with the humble and meek of heart. 
Thy peace shall be in much patience. 
If thou wilt hear me and follow my voice ; 
thou wilt enjoy much peace. 

What then shall I do ? 

In every thing attend to thyself what thou art doing and what 
and direct thy whole intention to this, [thou art saying : 

that thou mayest please me alone ; 
and neither desire nor seek any thing apart from me ; 
as for the sayings or doings of others judge nothin;.; rashly, 
and busy not thyself with things not committed to thy care ; 
and so it may come to pass that thou be little or seldom disturbed. 
But never to feel any disturbance at all, 

( 243 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXV. 

nee aliquam pati cordis vel corporis molestiam : 
non est praesentis temporis ; 
sed status aeternae quietis. 

II. Non ergo aestimes teverampaceminvenisse si nullam senseris 
nee tunc totum esse bonum, [gravitateni : 

si neminem pateris adversarium ; 

nee hoc esse perfectum si euncta fiant secundum tuum affectum : 
neque tunc aliquid magni te reputes, 
aut speeialiter dilectum existimes ; 
si in magna fueris devotione atque dulcedine : 
quia in istis non cognoscitur verus amator virtutis ; 
nee in istis consistit profectus et perfectio hominis. 

In quo ergo Domine ? 

In offerendo te ex toto corde tuo voluntati divinae ; 
non quaerendo quae tua sunt nee in parvo nee in magno, 
nee in tempore nee in aeternitate : 
ita ut una aequali facie in gratiarum aetione permaneas, 
inter prospera et eontraria ; 
omnia aequa lance pensando. 
Si fueris tam fortis et longanimus in spe, 
ut subtracta interiori consolatione, 

etiam ad ampliora sustinenda cor tuum praeparaveris : 
nee te justificaveris quasi haee tantaque pati non deberes ; 
sed me in omnibus dispositionibus justificaveris et sanctum 

[laudaveris : 
tunc in vera et recta via pacis ambulas ; 
et spes indubitata erit, 

quod rursus in jubilo faciem meam sis visurus. 
Quodsi ad plenum tui ipsius contemptum perveneris ; 
scito quod tunc abundantia pacis petfrueris secundum possibilitatem 

[tui ineolatus. 



( 244 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXV. Ok the Imitation of Christ. 

nor to suffer any grief of heart or body : 
belongs not to this present life ; 
but is the state of everlasting rest. 

II. Think not therefore that thou hast found true peace if thou 
nor that then all is well, [fcclest no burthen : 

if thou hast to withstand no adversary ; 

nor that thou hast attained to perfection if all things are done ac- 
neither then think thyself any thing great, ["cording to thine 

nor imagine thyself to be especially beloved ; [inclination : 

if thou experience great devotion and sweetness : 
for it is not in such things that a true lover of virtue is known ; 
nor does the progress and perfection of man consist in these things. 

In what then O Lord ? 

In offering thyself with thy whole heart to the divine will ; 
in not seeking the things that are thine whether in little or great, 
in time or in eternity: 

so that with the same equal countenance thou mayest continue the 
both in prosperity and in adversity ; [giving of thanks, 

by weighmg all things in an equal balance. 

If thou shouldest come to be so valiant and long-suffering in hope, 
that when inward consolation is withdrawn, ["things ; 

thou canst prepare thy heart to suffer still more : [suffer such great 
and when thou dost not justify thyself as if thou oughtest not to 
but acknowledgest my justice in all my appointments and praisest 

[my holy name : 
then it is that thou walkest in the true and right way of peace ; 
and mayest hope witliout any doubt, 
to see my face again with great joy. 

And if thou shouldest arrive at an entire contempt of thyself; 
know that then thou shalt enjoy an abundance of peace as far as is 

[possible in this sojourn on earth. 



( 245) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXVI. 



Cap. XXVI.— De Eminentia Liberae Mentis quam Supplex 
Oratio magis meretur quam Lectio. 

I. Domine hoc opus est perfect! viri ; 
numquam ab intentione caelestium animum relaxare : 
et inter multas curas quasi sine cura transire, 
non more torpentis, 

sed praerogativa quadam liberae mentis ; 
nulli creaturae inordinata affectione adhaerendo. 

IL Obsecro te piissime Deus meus praeserva me a curis hujus 
a multis necessitatibus corporis, [vitae ne nimis implicer : 

ne voluptate capiar ; 
ab universis animae obstaculis, 
ne molestiis fractus dejiciar. 

Non dico ab his rebus quas toto affectu ambit vanitas mundana: 
sed ab his miseriis quae animam servi tui communi maledicto 

[mortalitatis poenaliter gravant et retardant ; 
ne in libertatem spiritus quoties voluerit valeat introire. 

IIL O Deus meus dulcedo ineffabilis : 
verte mihi in amaritudinem, [hentem : 

omnem consolationem carnalem ab aeternorum amore me abstra- 
et ad se intuitu cujusdam boni delectabiUs praesentis male alli- 

[cientem. 
Non me vincat Deus meus non vincat caro et sanguis: 
non me decipiat mundus et brevis gloria ejus ; 
non me supplantet diabolus et astutia illius. 
Da mihi fortitudinem resistendi : 
patientiam tolerandi ; 
constantiam perseverandi. 

Da pro omnibus mundi consolationibus suavissimam spiritus tui 
ct pro carnali amore tui nominis infunde amorem. [unctionem ; 

Ecce cibus potus vestis, 

( 246) 



Book III. Chai*. XXVI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter XXVI.— Of the Surpassing Benefit of a Free 

Mind which is gained by Humble Prayer rather 

than by Reading. 

I. Lord this is the work of a perfect man ; 

never to let the mind slacken from attending to heavenly things : 

and to pass through many cares as though without care, 

not after the manner of a sluggard, 

but by a certain prerogative of a free mind ; 

which does not cleave with inordinate affection to any creature. 

II. Preserve me I beseech thee O most compassionate God from 

the cares of this life 
that I be not too much 
entangled by them : 



from the many necessities of the body, 
that I may not be ensnared by pleasure ; 
and from all hindrances of the soul, 
lest being disheartened by troubles I be cast down, [eager desire : 
I do not say from those things which worldly vanity covets with 
but from those miseries which by the common doom of mortality as 
[punishments weigh down and keep back the soul of thy servant; 
lest when it wishes it be able to enter into liberty of spirit. 

III. O my God unspeakable sweetness : 
turn for me into bitterness, [eternal ; 

all carnal consolation which withdraws me from the love of things 
and wickedly allures me to itself by setting before me some present 

[delightful good. 
My God let not flesh and blood prevail against me let them not 
let not the world and its brief glory deceive me; [prevail : 

let not the devil and his devices trip me up. 
Give me fortitude that I may stand : 
patience that I may endure ; 

constancy that I may persevere. [unction of thy spirit ; 

Give me in place of all the consolations of this world the sweetest 
and instead of carnal love infuse into me the love of thy name. 

Behold eating drinking clothing, 

( 247 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXVIL 

ac cetera utensilia ad corporis sustentaculum pertinentia ; 

ferventi spiritui sunt onerosa. 

Tribue talibus fomentis temperate uti ; 

non desiderio nimio implicari. 

Abjicere omnia non licet ; 

quia natura sustentanda est. 

Requirere autem superflua et quae magis delectant lex sancta pro- 

nam alias caro adversus spiritum insolesceret. [hibet ; 

Inter haec quaeso manus tua me regat et doceat: 

ne quid nimium fiat. 



Cap. XXVI I.— Quod Privatus Amor a summo Bono Maxime 

Retardat. 

I. Fill. 
Oportet te dare totum pro toto ; 
et nihil tui ipsius esse. 

Scito quod amor tui ipsius magis nocet libi ; 
quam aliqua res mundi. 
Secundum amorem et affectum quem geris ; 
quaelibet res plus vel minus adhaeret. 
Si fueritamor tuus purus simplex et bene ordinatus ; 
eris sine captivitate rerum. 

Noli concupiscere ; 
quod non licet habere. 
Noli habere ; 
quod te potest impedire et libertate interiori privare. 

Mirum quod non ex toto fundo cordis te ipsum mihi conimittis 
Quare vano moerore consumeris : rcum omnibus quae desi- 

cur superfluis curis fatigaris.? [derare potes vel habere. 

Sta ad beneplacitum meum ; 
et nullum patieris detrimentum. 

Si quaeris hoc vel illud, 

( 248 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXVII. Of the Imit.\tion ok Christ. 

and other necessaries pertaining to the support of the body ; 

are burthensome to a fervent spirit. 

Grant me to use such comforts with moderation ; 

and not to be entangled with an excessive longing for them. 

It is not allowed us to cast them all away ; 

for nature must be supported. [are for mere delight ; 

But thy holy law forbids to require superfluities and such things as 

for otherwise the flesh would grow insolent against the spirit. 

Between these I beseech thee let thy hand govern and direct me : 

that nothing be done in excess. 



Chapter XXVII.— That Nothing Keeps us Back from the 
Sovereign Good so much as Self-Love. 

I. Son. 
It behoves thee to give all for all ; 
and not be in any wise thine own. 
Know that the love of thyself is more hurtful to thee ; 
than any thing of this world. 

According to the love and inclination which thou hast to it ; 
every thing cleaves to thee more or less. 
If thy love be pure simple and well-ordered ; 
thou wilt be free from bondage to earthly things. 

Covet not ; 
that which thou mayest not have. 
Seek not to have ; 
that which may fetter thee or rob thee of thy inward liberty. 

It is wonderful that thou wilt not from the very bottom of thy 



Why art thou consumed with vain grief: 
why art thou wearied with superfluous cares ? 
Be resigned to my good pleasure ; 
and thou shalt suffer no loss. 

If thou seekest this or that, 

( 249 ) 



heart commit thyself 
to me with all things 
that thou canst desire 
or have. 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXVIL 

et volueris esse ibi vel ibi propter tuum commodum et proprium 
numquam eris in quietudine, [beneplacitum magis habendum ; 

nee liber a soUicitudine : 
quia in omni re reperietur aliquis defectus ; 
et in omni loco erit qui adversetur. 
Juvat igitur non quaelibet res adepta vel multiplicata exterius ; 

sed potius contempta et decisa ex corde radicitus. 

Quod non tantum de censu aeris et divitiarum intelligas : 

sed de honoris etiam ambitu ac vanae laudationis desiderio ; 
quae omnia transeunt cum mundo. 

Munit parum locus ; 
si deest spiritus fervoris. 
Nee diu stabit pax ilia quaesita forinsecus ; 
si vacat a vero fundamento status cordis. 
Hoc est nisi steteris in me ; 
permutare te potes sed non meliorare. 
Nam occasione orta et accepta ; 
invenies quod fugisti et ampHus. 

11. Oratio pro purgatione cordis et caelesti sapientia. 

Confirma me Deus per gratiam sancti Spiritus. 
Da virtutem corroborari in interiori homine et cor meum ab omni 

[inutili soUicitudine et angore evacuare : 
nee variis desideriis trahi cujuseumque rei vilis aut pretiosi ; 

sed omnia inspicere sicut transeuntia, 
et me pariter cum illis transiturum : 
quia nihil permanens sub sole ; 
ubi omnia vanitas et afflictio spiritus. 
O quam sapiens qui ita considerat. 

Da mihi Domine caelestem sapientiam ut discam te super omnia 
super omnia sapere et diligere ; [quaerere et invenire: 

( 250 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXVII, Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and wouldest be here or there for thine own advantage and thine own 

thou wilt never be at rest, [good pleasure ; 

nor free from anxiety : 

for in every thing thou wilt find some defect ; 

and in every place there will be some one who will cross thee. 

It is not therefore the obtaining or multiplying outward things 

[that avails thee ; 
but rather the despising of them and the cutting them by the root 

[out of thy heart. 
And I would not have thee to understand this only with regard to 

[money and riches : 
but also with regard to the quest of honour and the desire of empty 
all which things pass away with the world. [praise ; 

The place is but small defence ; 
if the spirit of fervour be wanting. 

Neither will that peace which is sought from without stand long ; 
if the state of thy heart wants the true foundation. 
That is if thou stand not in me ; 
thou mayest change but not better thyself 
For should occasion arise and thou allow it ; 
thou wilt find that which thou didst flv from and even more. 



II. A PRAYER FOR CLEANSING THE HEART AND FOR 

HEAVENLY WISDOM. 

Strengthen me O God by the grace of the Holy Spirit. 
Give me power to be strengthened in the inner man and to cast out 

[of my heart all unprofitable care and cark : 
let me not be drawn away with various desires of any thing whatso- 

[ever whether it be of little or great value ; 
but teach me to look upon all things as passing away, 
and myself as soon to pass away with them : 
for nothing is lasting under the sun ; 
where all is vanity and affliction of spirit. 
Oh how wise is he who considers thus. 

Give me O Lord heavenly wisdom that I may learn above all 
above all things to relish and love thee ; [things to seek and find thee : 

(2SI) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXVIII. 

et cetera secundum ordinem sapientiae tuae prout sunt intelligere. 

Da prudenter declinare blandientem ; 

et patienter ferre adversantem : 

quia baec magna sapientia, 

non moveri omni vento verborum, 

nee aurem male blandienti praebere sirenae ; 

sic enim incepta pergitur via secure. 



Cap. XXVIII.— Contra Linguas Obtrectatorum. 

I. Fill. 

Non aegre feras si quidani de te male senserint ; 
et dixerint quod non libenter audias. 
Tu deteriora de te ipso sentire debes ; 
et neminem infirmiorem te credere. 

Si ambulas ab intra ; 
non multum ponderabis volantia verba. 

Est non parva prudentia silere in tempore malo et introrsus ad me 
nee humano judicio disturbari. [converti ; 

II. Non sit pax tua in ore hominum. 

Sive enim bene sive male interpretati fuerint ; 
non es ideo alter homo. 

Ubi est vera pax et vera gloria? 
Nonne in me ? 

Etqui non appetit hominibus placere nee timet displicere ; 
multa perfruetur pace. 
Ex inordinate amore et vano timore ; 
oritur omnis inquietude cordis et distractio sensuum. 



( 252 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXVIII. Ok the Imitation of Chkist. 

and to understand all other things according to the order of thy 

Grant me to avoid prudently him who flatters me ; [wisdom as they 

and patiently to bear with him who contradicts me: 'truly are. 

for it is great wisdom, 

not to be moved with every wind of words, 

nor to give ear to the siren falsely beguiling ; 

for thus shall we go on securely in the way we have begun. 



Chapter XXVIII.— Against the Tongues of Detractors. 

I. Son. 

Take it not to heart if some think ill of thee ; 
and say of thee what thou dost not gladly hear. 
Thou ougbtest to think worse things of thyself; 
and to believe that no one is weaker than thyself. 

If thou walkest in the spirit ; 
thou wilt make small account of flying words. 

It is no small prudence to be silent in the evil time and to turn with- 
and not to be disturbed with man's judgment. [in to me ; 

II. Let not thy peace be in the tongues of men. 

For whether they put a good or bad construction on what thou dost ; 
thou art not therefore another man. 

Where is true peace and true glory? 
Is it not in me? 

And he who covets not to please men and fears not their displeasure • 
shall enjoy much peace. 

All disquiet of heart and distraction of the senses ; 
from inordinate love and vain fear arise. 



( 253 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXIX. 



Cap. XXIX.— Qualiter instante Tribulatione Deus 
Invocandus est et Benedicendus. 

I, Sit nomen tuum Domine benedictum in saecula ; 

qui voluisti banc tentationem et tribulationem venire super me. 

Non possum cam effugere : 

sed necesse babeo ad te confugere ; 

ut me adjuves et in bonum mihi conveitas. 

II. Domine, 

mode sum in tribulatione : 

et non est cordi meo bene ; 

sed multumvexor a praesenti passione. 

Et nunc Pater dilecte quid dicam ? 

Deprehensus sum inter angustias. 

Salvifica me ex hora hac. 

Sed propterea veni in banc horam, 

ut tu clarificeris ; 

quum fuero valide humibatus et per te bberatus. 

Complaceat tibi Domine ut eruas me ; 

nam ego pauper quid agere possum : 

et quo ibo sine te ? 

Da patientiam Domine ; 

etiam hac vice. 

Adjuva me Deus meus : 

et non timebo quantumcumque gravatus fuero. 

Et nunc inter haec quid dicam ? 
Domine fiat voluntas tua ; 
ego bene merui tribulari et gravari. 
Oportet utique ut sustineam : 
et utinam patienter ; 
donee transeat tempestas et melius fiat. 

Potens est autem omnipotens manus tua etiam banc tentationem a 
et ejus impetum mitigare ne penitus succumbam ; [me auferre : 

( 254 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXIX. Of thic Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter XXIX.— How in the Time of Tribulation God 
IS to be Invoked and Blessed. 

I. Blessed O Lord be thy name for ever ; 

who hast been pleased that this trial and tribulation should come 
I cannot fly from it : [upon me. 

but I must of necessity fly to thee ; 
that thou mayest help me and turn it to my good. 

II. Lord, 

I am now in tribulation : 

and my heart is not at ease ; 

but I am much harassed with my present suffering. 

And now beloved Father what shall I say ? 

I am brought into great straits. 

Save me from this hour. 

But for this cause came I unto this hour, 

that thou mightest be glorified ; 

when I shall be effectually humbled and by thee delivered. 

May it please thee O Lord to deliver me ; 

for poor wretch that I am what can I do : 

and whither shall I go without thee ? 

Give me patience O Lord ; 

yet once again. 

Help me my God : 

and I shall not fear how much soever I be oppressed. 

And now in the midst of these things what shall I say .' 
Lord thy will be done ; 

I have well deserved to suffer tribulation and be heavy laden. 
I must without doubt bear it : 
and would it were with patience ; 
till the storm be overpast and it be better. 

But thine almighty hand is able to take away from me this trial 
and to moderate its violence lest I wholly sink under it; [also : 

( 255 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXX 

quemadmodum et prius saepius egisti mecum Deus meus miseri- 
Et quanto mihi difficilius ; [cordia mea. 

tanto tibi facilior est haec mutatio dexterae Excelsi. 



Cap. XXX.— De Divino Petendo Auxilio et Confidentia 
Recuperandae Gratiae. 

I. Fili. 
Ego Dominus confortans in die tribulationis. 
Venias ad me ; 
quum tibi non fuerit bene. 

Hoc est quod maxime consolationem impedit caelestem ; 
quia tardius te convertis ad orationem. 
Nam antequam me intente roges : 
multa interim solatia quaeris ; 
et recreas te in externis. 
Ideoque fit ut parum omnia prosint : 
donee advertas quia ego sum qui eruo sperantes in me ; 
nee est extra me valens auxilium : 
neque utile consilium ; 
sed neque durabile remedium. 

Sed jam resumpto spiritu post tempestatem, 
reconvalesce in luce miserationum mearum : 

quia prope sum dicit Dominus ut restaurem universa non solum 
sed et abundanter ac cumulate. [integre ; 

Numquid mihi quidquam est difficile : 
aut ero similis dicenti et non facienti? 
Ubi est fides tua? 
Sta firmiter, 
et perseveranter. 
Esto longanimis, 
et vir fortis ; 

veniet tibi consolatio in tempore sue. 
Exspecta me exspecta ; 
veniam et curabo te. 

( 256 ) 



P.ooK HI. CnAi'. XXX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

as thou hast often heretofore dealt with me my God mv mercy. 
And how much the more difficult this is to me ; [Most High, 

so much the easier to tbce is this change of the right hand of the 



Ch.vpter XXX.- Of Asking the Divine Aid, and of 
Confidence of Recovering Grace. 

I. Son. 
I am the Lord who gives strength in the day of tribulation. 
Come to me ; 
when it is not well with thee. 

This is that which most of all hinders heavenly consolation ; 
that thou art too slow in turning thyself to prayer. 
For before thou earnestly prayest to me : 
thou seekest in the mean time much solace ; 
and refreshest thyself in outward things. 
And hence it comes to pass that all things avail thee little : 
till thou callest to mind that I am he who delivers those that hope 
nor is there apart from me any effectual help: [in me ; 

nor profitable counsel ; 
nor lasting remedy. 

But now having recovered breath after the storm, 
grow thou strong again in the light of my mercies : 
for I am at hand saith the Lord to repair all things not only to make 
but even with abundance and above measure. [them whole ; 

Is any thing difficult to me : 

or shall I be like one who promises and does not perform r 
Where is thy faith ? 
Stand firmly, 
and with perseverance. 
Have patience, 
and be a man of courage ; 
consolation will come to thee in its own time. 
Wait for me wait ; 
I will come and cure thee. 

( 257 ) s 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXX. 

II. Tentatio est quae te vexat ; 
et formido vana quae te exterret. 
Quid importat soUicitudo de futuris contingenlibus : 
nisi ut tristitiam super tristitiam lialjeas ? 
Sufficiat die! malitia sua. 

Vanum est et inutile de futuris ccniturbari vel gratulari ; 
quae forte numquam evenient. 

Sed humanum est hujusmodi imaginationibus illudi : 
et parvi adhuc animi signum ; 
tam Icviter trahi ad suggestionem inimici. 
Ipse enim non curat utrum veris an falsis illudat et decipiat ; 
utrum praescntiuni amore, 
aut futurorum formidine prosternat. 
Non ergo turbetur cor tuum ; 
neque formidet. 
Crede in me ; 

et in misericordia mea habeto tiduciam. 
Quando tu putas te elongatum a me ; 
saepe sum propinquior. 
Quando tu aestimas paene totum perditum ; 
tunc saepe majus merendi instat lucrum. 
Non est totum perditum ; 
quando res accidit in contrarium. 
Non debes judicare secundum praesens sentire : 
nee sic gravitati alicui undecumque venienti inhaerere et accipere ; 
tamquam omnis spes sit ablata emergendi. 
Noli putare te relictum ex toto : 

quamvis ad tempus tibi miserim aliquam tribulationem ; 
vel etiam optatam subtraxerim consolationem. 
Sic enim transitur ad rcgnum caelorum. 

Et hoc sine dubio magis expedit tibi et ceteris servis meis ut 
quam si cuncta ad libitum haljcretis. [e.xercitemini advcrsis; 

Ego novi cogitationes absconditas ; 

quia multum expedit pro salute tua ut interdum sine sapore relin- 
ne forte eleveris in bono successu ; [quaris : 

et tibi ipsi placere velis in co quod non es. 

( 258 ; 



Book III. Chai-. XXX. Oi- thi: Imitation of Christ. 

II. What harasses thee is but a temptation ; 
and a vain fear which frightens thee. 
What docs concern about future accidents bring thee : 
but only sorrow upon sorrow ? 
Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. 

It is a vain and unprofitable thing to be troubled or glad about 
which perhaps will never happen. [future things ; 

lUit it is common to man to be deluded with such imaginings : 
and is a sign of a soul which is as yet weak ; 
to be so easily drawn away by the suggestions of the enemy. 
For he cares not whether it be with things true or false that 
whether he overthrow thee with the love of things present, [he dupes 
or the fear of things to come. thee and 

Let not therefore thy heart be troubled ; deceives 

and let it not fear. thee ; 

Believe in me ; 

and put thy trust in my mercy. 
When thou thinkest that thou art far from me ; 
I am ofien nearest to thee. 
When thou judgest that almost all is lost ; 
then oftentimes a greater reward of thy desert is at hand. 
All is not lost ; 

when any thing' falls out otherwise than thou wouldest have it. 
Thou must not judge according to thy present feeling : [come : 

nor must thuu so dwell upon nor take any trouble whencesoever it 
as if all hope were gone of being delivered out of it. 
Think not thyself wholly forsaken : 
although for a time I have sent thee some tribulation ; 
or withdrawn from thee the consolation which thou desirest. 
For this is the way to the kingdom of heaven. 

[servants that ye be exercised by adversity ; 
And without doubt it is more expedient for thee and for my other 
than that ye should have all things according to your inclination. 
I know thy hidden thoughts ; [sometimes be left without savour : 
1 know that it is very expedient for thy salvation that thou shouldest 
lest thou shouldest be puffed up with good success ; 
and shouldest take pleasure in thyself in that which thou art not. 

( 259 ) 



De Imitations Chkisti. Lib. III. Cap. XXXL 

Quod dedi auferre possum ; 

ct restituere quum mihi placuerit. 

Quum dedero meum est ; 

quum retraxero tuum non tuli : 

quia meum est omne datum bonum ; 

et omne donum perfectum. 

Si tibi admisero gravitatem aut quamlibet contrarietatem ; 

ne indigneris, 

neque concidat cor tuum : 

ego cito sublevare possum ; 

et omne onus in gaudium transmutare. 

Verumtamen Justus sum, 

et recommendabilis multum ; 

quum sic facio tecum. 

Si recte sapis et in veritate aspicis ; 
numquam debes propter adversa tam dejecte contristari : 
sed magis gaudere et gratias agere, 
immo hoc unicum reputare gaudium ; 
quod affligens te doloribus non parco til)i. 
Sicut dile.xit me Pater, 
et ego vos diligo, 
dixi dilectis discipulis meis : 

quos utique non misi ad gaudia temporalia sed ad magna certamina : 
non ad honores, 
sed ad despectiones ; 
non ad otium sed ad labores : 
non ad requiem ; 

sed ad afferendum fructum multum in patientia. 
Horum memento fili mi verborum. 



Cap. XXXI.— De Neglectu omnis Crkaturae ut Creator 

POSSIT Invent HI. 
I. Domine, 
bene intligeo adiiuc majori gratia, 

( 260 ) 



Book III. Chat. XXXI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

What I have j^iven I can take away ; 

and restore again when I please. 

When I give it it is still mine ; 

when I take it away again I take not any thing that is thine : 

for every good gift is mine ; 

and every perfect gift. 

If I send thee heaviness or any hindrance ; 

het not, 

neither let thy lieart be cast down : 

I can quickly raise thee up again ; 

and turn all thy burthen into joy. 

Nevertheless I am just, 

and greatly to be praised ; 

when I deal thus with thee. 

If thou thinkest rightly and considerest things in truth ; 
thou oughtest never to be so cast down and saddened by any 
but thou oughtest rather to rejoice and give thanks, [adversity : 
yea to account this as the only joy : 
ihat afflicting thee with sorrows I do not spare thee. 
.•\s tlie Father hath loved me, 
I also love you, 

said I to my beloved disciples ; 

whom certainly I did not send to temporal joys but to great 
not to honours, [conflicts : 

but to contempt : 
not to ease but to toils : 
not to rest : 

but to bring forth much fruit in patience. 
Remember these words my son. 



Chapter XX^Xl.— Of Neglecting every Cre.\ture that 
so WE MAY Find the Creator. 
I. Lord, 
1 stand much in need of a grace yet greater, 

( 261 ) 



De Imitatione Chkisti. Lib. III. Cap. XXXI. 

si debeam illuc pervenire ; 

ubi me nemo poterit nee ulla creatm-a impcdire. 

Nam quamdiu res aliqua me retinet ; 
non possum libera ad te volare. 
Cupiebat libere volare ; 
qui dicebat. 

Ouis dabit mihi pennas sicut columb;ie : 
et volabo et requiescam ? 
Quid simplici oculo quietiiis .'' 
Et quid liberius : 

nil desiderante in terris ? [desercre ; 

Oportet igitur omnem supertransire creaturam et se ipsum perfecte 
ac in excessu mentis stare et videre le omnium conditorem cum 

[creaturis nil simile habere. 
Et nisi quis ab omnibus creaturis fuerit expeditus : 
non poterit libere intendere divinis. 
Ideo enim pauci inveniuntur contemplativi ; 
quia pauci sciunt se a perituris et creaturis ad plenum sequestrari. 

Ad hoc magna requiritur gratia ; 
quae animam levet, 
et supra semet ipsam i-apiat. 

Et nisi homo sit in spiritu elevatus et ab omnibus creaturis 
quidquid scit, [liberatus ac Deo totus unitus : 

quidquid etiam habet ; 
non est magni ponderis. 
Diu parvus erit et infra jacebit ; 

qui aliquid magnum aestimat nisi solum unum immensum aeternum 
Et quidquid Deus non est ; [bonum. 

nihil est, 
et pro nihilo computari debet. 

Est magna differentia, 
sapientia illuminati et devoti viri ; 
et scientia literati atque studiosi clerici. 

Multo nobilior est ilia doctrina quae desursum ex divina influentia 
quam quae laboriose humano acquiritur ingenio. [manat ; 

( 263 ) 



Book III. Cii.\i>. XXXI. Of rur. J.\!rr.\TiON ok Ciikist. 

if I am to arrive so far ; 

that it may not be in the power of any man nor any created thing 

For as long as any thing holds me l:)ack ; [to hinder me. 

I cannot freely fly to thee. 
He was desirous to fly freely to thee ; 
who said. 

Who will give me wings like a dove : 
and I will flee away and be at rest ? 
What can be more at rest than a single eye ? 
And what can be more free : ["sake himself: 

than he who desires nothing upon earth ? [perfectly to for- 

A man ought therefore to mount far above every creature and 
and in ecstasy of mind to stand and see that thou the Creator of all 

[things art in no wise like thy creatures. 
And unless a man be disentangled from all creatures : 
he cannot freely make things divine his aim. [men ; 

And this is the reason why there are found so few contemplative 
because there are few who know how to separate themselves 

For this a great grace is required ; 1 wholly from perishing 

which may raise the soul, \ and created things. 

and bear it up above itself. 

And unless a man be raised in spirit and set free from all 
whatever he knows, [creatures and wholly made one with God : 
and whatever he has ; 
is of no great weight. 

A long while shall he be little and low shall he lie ; 
who esteems any thing great but only the one immense eternal 
And whatsoever is not God ; [good, 

is nothing, 
and ought to be accounted as nothing. 

There is a great difference, 
between the wisdom of an enlightened and devout man ; 
and the knowledge of a well-read and studious clerk. 
Far more noble is that learning which flows from above from t!ie 
than that which is painfully gained by the wit of man. rdi\ine in- 



rdi\ine in 
[ flucnce; 



( 263 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXXI. 

II. Plures reperiuntur conteniplationem desiderare ; 
sed quae ad earn requiruntur non student exercere. 
Est mag-num impedimentum quia in signis et sensibilibus rebus 
et parum de perfecta morlificatione habetur. [statur; 

Nescio quid est, 
quo spiritu ducimur, Fbus agimus ; 

et quid praetendimus qui spirituales dici videmur ; Let vilibus rc- 
quod tantum laborem et ampliorem soUicitudinem pro transitoriis 
et de interioribus nostris vix raro plene recollectis sensibus cogi- 

[tamus. 
Proh dolor statini post modicam recollectionem foras erumpimus ; 
nee opera nostra districta examinatione trutinamus. 
Ubi jacent affectus nostri non attendimus ; 
et quam impura sint omnia non deploramus. 
Omnis quippe caro corruperat viam suam ; 
et ideo sequebatur diluvium magnum. 
Quum ergo interior attectus noster multum corruptus sit ; 
necesse est, 

ut actio sequens index carentiae interioris vigoris corrumpatur. 
Ex puro corde procedit fructus bonae vitae. 

Quantum quis fecerit quaeritur : 
sed ex quanta virtute agit non tarn studiose pensatur. 
Si fuerit fortis dives pulcher habilis vel bonus scriptor, 
bonus cantor, 

bonus laborator investigatur ; 
quam pauper sit spiritu, 
quam patiens et mitis, 
quam devotus et internus a multis tacetur. 
Natura exteriora hominis respicit ; 
gratia ad interiora se convertit. 
Ilia frequenter fallitur ; 
ista in Deo sperat ut non decipiatur. 



( 264 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXXI. Or the Imitation of Ciiuist. 

II. Many are found to desire conlcniplation; [required thereunto, 
but they make it not their aim to practise those things which are 
It is a great hindrance that we rest in signs and sensible things ; 
and have but hitlc of perfect mortification. 

I know not what it is, 
by what spirit we are led, Fthings ; 

nor what we pretend to who seem to be called spiritual: [and mean 
that we take so much pains and have a great solicitude for transitory 
and scarce ever have our senses fully recollected to think of our 

[own inner life. 
Alas after a slight recollection we presently break out again ; 
neither do we weigh well our works by a strict examination. 
\Vc take no notice where our affections lie ; 
nor do we bewail the lack of pure intention. 
For all fiesh had corrupted its way : 
and therefore the great flood came upon it. 
As therefore our inward affection is greatly corrupted ; 
it must needs be, 

that the action which follows should also be corrupt for it shows that 
From a pure heart proceeds the fruit of a good life, ["we lack in- 

[ward vigour. 

We are apt to inquire how much a man has done : 
but with how much virtue he acts is not so diligently considered. 
We ask whether he be strong rich fair a ready or a good writer, 
a good singer, 
a good workman ; 

but many say nothing of how poor he is in spirit, 
how patient and meek, 
how devout and spiritual. 

Nature looks upon the outward thin'jfs of a man ; 
but grace turns herself to the inward. 
Nature often mistakes ; 
but grace has her trust in God that she may not be deceived. 



( 26s ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXXII. 



Cap. XXXII.— De Abnegatione Sui et Abdicatioxe Omnis 

CUPIDITATIS. 

I. Fill non potes perfectam possidere libertatem ; 
nisi totaliter abneyes temet ipsum. 

Compediti sunt omnes proprietarii et sui ipsius amatores, 
cupidi curiosi gyrovagi, 

quaerentes semper moUia non quae Jesu Christi ; 
sed hoc saepe fingentes et componentes quod non stabit. 
Peribit enim totuni ; 
quod non est ex Deo ortum. 

Tene breve et consummatuin verbuui. 
Dimitte omnia et invenies omnia : 
rehnque cupidinem ; 
et reperies requiem. 
Hoc mente pertracta ; 
et quum impleveris intelliges omnia. 

II. Domine, 

hoc non est opus unius diei, 

nee Indus parvulorum ; 

immo in hocbrevi includitur omnis perfectio religiosorum. 

III. Fili non debes averti nee statim dejici audita via perfec- 
sed magis ad sublimiora provocari ; [torum: 
et ad minus ad haec ex desiderio suspirare. 

Utinam sic tecum esset et ad hoc pervenisses, 
ut tui ipsius amator non esses ; 
sed ad nutum meum pure stares, 
et ejus quern tibi praeposui palris : 
tunc mihi valde placeres ; 
et tota vita tua in gaudio et pace transirct. 
Adhuc multa habes ad reUnquendum : 
quae nisi mihi ex intcgro resignavcris ; 
non acquires quod poslulas. 

( 266 ) 



Booic III. Chap. XXXI I. Of the Imitation of Ciikist. 



Ch.\pter XXXII.— Of Dexying Ourselves .and Renouncing 

.\LL COVETOUSXESS. 

I. Son thou canst not possess perfect liberty ; 
unless thou wholly deny thyself. 

All self-seekers and self-lovers are bound in fetters, 
full of desires inquisitive gossips, 

always seeking their own case and not the things of Jesus Christ ; 
but oftentimes devising and framing that which will not stand. 
For that shall perish utterly ; 
which proceeds not from God. 

Take this short and perfect word. 
Forsake all and thou shalt find all : 
leave thy desires ; 
and thou shalt find rest. 
Consider this well ; 
and when thou hast put it in practice thou wilt understand all things. 

II. Lord, 

this is not the work of one day, 

nor child's play ; [religious. 

nay in this short sentence is included the whole perfection of the 

[when thou hearest what the way of the perfect is : 

III. Son thou must not be turned back nor presently cast down 
but ihou shouldest rather be incited to higher things ; 

or at least sigh after these with an earnest desire. 

Would it were so with thee and that thou wert come so far, 
that thou wert no longer a lover of thyself; 
but didst stand wholly at my beck, 
and that of the father whom I have set over thee : 
then wouldest thou be greatly pleasing to me ; 
and all thy life would pass in joy and peace. 
Thou hast yet many things to forsake : 
and unless thou give them up to me without reserve ; 
thou shalt not attain to that which thou demandest. 

( 267 ) 



De Imitatione CiiRiSTi. Lib. III. Cap. XXXIII. 



Suadeo tibi emere a me aurum ignitum ut locuples fias ; 
id est caelestem sapientiam omnia infima conculcantem.. 
Postpone terrenam sapientiam ; 
omnem humanam et propriam complacentiam. 

Dixi viliora tibi emenda pro pretiosis et altis in rebus humanis : 

nam valde vilis et parva, 

ac paene oblivioni tradita videtur vera caelestis sapientia : 

non sapiens alta de se nee magnificari quaerens in terra : 

quam multi ore tenus praedicant, 

sed vita longe dissentiunt : 

ipsa tamen est pretiosa margarita a multis abscondita. 



Cap. XXXIII.— De Instarilitate Cordis et de Intentione 

FiNALI AD DEUM HABENDA. 

I. Fili noli credere afifectui tuo qui nunc est ; 
cito mutabitur in aliud. 

Quamdiu vixeris mutabilitati subjectus es etiam nolens : 

ut modo laetus modo tristis, 

modo pacatus modo turbatus ; 

nunc devotus nunc indevotus : 

nunc studiosus nunc accidiosus ; 

nunc gravis nunc levis inveniaris. 

[spiritu : 

II. Sed Stat super haec mutabilia sapiens et bene doctus in 
non attendens quid in se sentiat vel qua parte fiet ventus instabi- 

[litatis ; 
sed ut tota intentio mentis ejus ad debitum et optatum proficiat 

[finem. 
Nam sic poterit unus et idem inconcussusque permanere ; 
simplici intentionis oculo per tot varios eventus ad me impraeter- 

[misse directo. 

( 268 I 



Book III. Chap. XXXI 11. Oi tiik lMrr.\Tio\ ok Christ. 

[be made rich ; 

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire that thou maycst 
that is heavenly wisdom which treads under foot all lower things. 
Set aside the wisdom of the earth ; 
all seeking to please the world and thyself. 

I have said that tliou shouldest buy what is of less value rather 
[than the precious and the highly-prized among human things: 
for true heavenly wisdom is regarded as very mean and contemp- 
and well-nigh forgotten : [tible, 

that wisdom which thinks not high things of self and seeks not to 
which many praise with their lips. [become great upon earth : 

but from which in their life they are far away : 
yet this same is that precious pearl which is hidden from man}'. 



Chapter XXXIII.— Of the Inconstancy of the Hkaki' 
AND OF Directing our Final Intention to God. 

I. Son trust not to thy present affection ; 
it will quickly be changed to something else. 

As long as thou livest thou art subject to change even against thy 

so as to be found sometimes joj^ful at other times sad, [will : 

now at peace then troubled ; 

now devout now without devotion : 

now full of zeal now sluggish ; 

now grave now gay. 

[ail these changeable things : 

II. IJut he who is wise and well instructed in spirit stands above 
nt)t heeding what he feels in himself nor from what quarter the 

[wind of change blows ; 
but that the whole bent of his soul may advance towards its due 

[and wished-for end. 
For thus will he be able to continue one and the same unshaken : 
ever directing through so many changing events the single eye of 

[his intention towards me. 

(269) 



I)E IMITATIONE CHRISTI. LiB. III. CAP. XXXIV. 

Quanto autem purior fuerit iiitentionis oculus ; 
tanto constantius inter diversas itur procellas. 

Sed in multis caligat oculus purae intentionis ; 
respicitur enim cito in aliquod delectabile quod occurrit ; 

[tionis- 
nam et raro totus liber quis invenitur a naevo propriae exquisi- 
Sic Judaei olim venerant in Bethaniam ad Martham et Mariam, 
non propter Jesum tantum ; 
sed ut Lazarum viderent. 

Mundandus est ergo intentionis oculus ut sit simplex et rectus ; 
atque ultra omnia varia media ad me dirigendus. 



Cap. XXXIV.— Quod Amanti Sapit Deus super Omnia et 

IN Omnibus. 

I. Ecce Deus meus et omnia. 
Quid volo amplius : 
et quid felicius desiderare possum.? 
O sapidum et dulce verbum : 
sed amanti Verbum ; 
non mundum nee ea quae in mundo sunt. 

Deus meus et omnia. 
Intelligenti satis dictum est ; 
et saepe repetere jucundum est amanti. 
Te siquidem praesente jucunda sunt omnia ; 
te autem absente, 
fastidiunt cuncta. 

Tu facis cor tranquillum et pacem magnam ; 
laetitiamque festivam. 

Tu facis bene seniire de omnibus et in omnibus te laudare ; 
nee potest aliquid sine te diu placere : 
sed si debet gratum esse el bene saperc ; 
oportet gratiam tuam adesse, 
et condimento luae sapientiae condiri. 

( 270 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXXIV. Of the 1mit.\tion of Christ. 

And by how much more pure the eye of thine intention is ; 
with so much greater constancy mayest thou pass through these 

But in many the eye of pure intention is dim ; [divers storms, 
for men quickly look towards something delightful which comes in 

[their way ; 
and it is raix to tind one wholh free from all blemish of self-seeking. 
So the Jews heretofore came to Bethany to .Martha and Mary, 
not for the sake of Jesus only ; 
but that they might see Lazarus. [single and right ; 

The eye of the intention therefore must be purified that it may be 
and it must be directed unto me beyond all the various means of 

[reaching me. 



Chapter XXXIV.— That he who Loves God Relishes Him 

ABOVE ALL THINGS AND IN ALL THINGS. 

L Behold my God and my all. 
What would I have more : 
and what greater happiness can I tlesire ? 
O sa\oury and sweet word : 
but to him who loves the Word ; 
not the world nor the things that are in the world. 

My God and my all. 
Enough is said to him who understands ; 
and to repeat it often is delightful to him who loves. 
For when thou art present all things yield delight ; 
but when thou art absent, 
all things cause loathing. 

Thou givest tranquillity to the heart and great ])cacc ; 
and festal gladness. 

Thou makest us be content with all things and in all things praise 
nor can any thing without thee afford lasting pleasure : [thee ; 

but to make it agreeable and relishing; 
thy grace must be present, 
and it must be seasoned with the seasoning of thy wisdom. 

( 271 ) 



De Lmitatione Christi. Lir>. III. Cap. XXXIV 

Cui tu sapis, 

quid ei recte non sapiet ? 

Et cui tu non sapis : 

quid ei ad jucunditatem esse poterit? 

Sed deficiunt in sapientia tua mundi sapientes et qui carnem 
quia ibi plurima vanitas, [sapiunt ; 

et hie mors invenitur. 

Qui autem te per contemptum mundanorum et carnis mortifica- 
vere sapientes esse cognoscuntur : [tionem sequuntur: 

quia de vanitate ad veritatem de carne ad spiritum transferuntur. 
Istis sapit Deus : 

et quidquid boni invenitur in creaturis ; 
totum ad laudem referunt sui conditoris. 

Dissimilis tamen et multum dissimilis sapor creatoris et creaturae, 
aeternitatis et temporis ; 
lucis increatae et illuminatae. 

II. O lux pe:petua, 
cuncta creata transcendens lumina ; 

fulgura coruscationem de sublimi penetrantem omnia cordis mei 
Purifica, [intima. 

laetifica, 

clarifica et vivifica spiritum meum cum suis poientiis ; 
ad inhaerendum tibi jubilosis excessibus. 
O quando veniet haec beata et desiderabilis hora : 
ut tua me saties praesentia ; 
et sis mihi omnia in omnibus. 
Quamdiu hoc datum non fuerit ; 
nee plenum gaudium erit. 

Adhuc proh dolor vivit in me \etus homo : 
non est totus crucifixus, 
non est perfecte mortuus : 
adhuc concupiscit fortiter contra spiritum, 
bella movet intestina ; 
nee regnum animae patitur esse quietum. 

Sed tu qui dominaris potestatis maris et motum fluctuum ejus 
exsurge adjuva me. [mitigas ; 

( 272 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXXIV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

He who has a relish of thee, 
will find all things savoury ? 
And to him who relishes thee not : 

what can ever yield any delight ? [wanting in thy wisdom : 

But the wise of this world and they who have fleshly desire are 
because in the world there is much vanity, 
and following the flesh leads to death. 

But they who follow thee by despising tiie things of this world and 
are found to be wise indeed ; [mortifying the flesh : 

for they are translated from vanity to the truth from the flesh to 
Such as these have a relish for God : [the spirit, 

and what good soever is found in creatures ; 
they refer it all to the praise of their Maker. 

But great yea very great is the difference between the relish of the 
of eternity and of time ; [Creator and the creature, 

of light uncreated and of light enlightened. 

II. O light eternal, 
transcending all created lights : 

send forth thy lightening from above that it may pierce to the most 
Cleanse, [inward parts of my heart, 

gladden, 

enlighten and quicken my spirit with its powers ; 
that it may cleave unto thee with ecstasies of joy. 
Oh when will this blessed and desirable hour come : 
when thou shalt fill me with thy presence ; 
and be to me all in all. 
So long as this is not granted me ; 
my joy will not be full. 

Alas the old man is still living in me ; 
he is not wholly crucified, 
he is not perfectly dead : 
he still lusts strongly against the spirit, 
he wages war within me ; 
and suffers not the kingdom of my soul to be quiet. 

But thou who rulest the power of the sea and stillest the moving 
arise and help me. [of the waves thereof; 

( 273 ) T 



De Imitatioxe Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXXV, 

Dissipa gentes quae bella volunt ; 

contere eas in virtute tua : 

ostende quaeso magnalia tua ; 

et glorificetur dextera tua : 

quia non est spes alia nee refugium mihi ; 

nisi in te Domine Deus meus. 



Cap. XXXV.— Quod non est Securitas a Tentatione in 

HAC Vita. 

I. Fili. 

Numquam securus es in hac vita ; 

sed quoad vixeris semper arma spiritualia tibi sunt necessaria. 

Inter hostes versaris ; 

et a dextris et a sinistris impugnaris. 

Si ergo non uteris undique scute patientiae ; 
non eris diu sine vulnere. 

Insuper si non ponis cor tuum tixe in me cum mera voluntate 
non poteris ardorem istum sustinere, [cuncta patiendi propter me ; 
nee ad palmam pertingere beatorum. 
Oportet te ergo viriliter omnia pertransire ; 
et potenti manu uti adversus objecta. 

Nam vincenti datur manna ; 
et torpenti relinquitur multa miseria. 

II. Si quaeris in hac vita requiem : 
quomodo tunc pervenies ad aeternam requiem ? 
Non ponas te ad multam requiem ; 

sed ad magnam patientiam. 
Quaere veram pacem non in terris sed in caelis : 
non in hominibus nee in ceteris creaturis ; 
sed in Deo solo. 

Pro amore Dei debes omnia libenter subire, 
labores scilicet et dolores : 

tentationes, [reprehensiones humiliationes ; 

vexationes anxietates necessitates infirmitates injurias oblocutiones 

( 274 ) 



Book III. Chap. XXXV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

Scatter thou the nations that delight in wars ; 

crush them by thy power : 

show forth I beseech thee thy marvellous works ; 

and let thy right hand be made glorious : 

for there is no other hope nor refuge for me ; 

but in thee O Lord my God. 



Chapter XXXV.— That there is no Security from 

Temptation in this Life. 
1. Son. 
Thou art never secure in this life ; 

but as long as thou livest thou hast always need of spiritual arms. 
Thou an in the midst of enemies ; 
and art assailed on the right and on the left. 

If then thou dost not on all sides make use of the shield of patience ; 
thou wilt not be long without a wound. 

Moreover if thou dost not set thy heart fixedly on me with a sincere 

will of suffer- 
ing all things 



thou canst not support the heat of this warfare, 

nor attain to the palm of the saints. 

It behoves thee therefore to go through all manfully ;i.for my sake ; 

and to use a strong hand against all that comes in thy way. 

For to him who overcomes is the manna given ; 
and to the sluggard is left much misery. 

II. If thou seekest rest in this life : 
how wilt thou then come to the rest eternal? 
Lay not thyself out for much rest ; 
but for great patience. 

Seek true peace not on earth but in heaven : 
not in men nor in other things created ; 
but in God alone. 

For the love of God thou shouldest gladly suffer all things, 
such as labours and sorrows : 

trials, [bukes humiliations; 

vexations anxieties necessities sicknesses injuries detractions re- 

( '^IS ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXXVI. 

confusiones correctiones et despectiones. 

Haec juvant ad virtutem : 

haec probant Christi tironem ; 

haec fabricant caelestem coronam. 

Ego reddam mercedem aeternam pro brevi labore ; 

et infinitam gloriam pro transitoria confusione. 

III. Putas tu quod semper habebis pro tua voluntate conso- 
Sancti mei non semper habuerunt tales : [lationes spirituales ? 

sed multas gravitates et tentationes varias ; 
magnasque desolationes. 
Sed patienter sustinuerunt se in omnibus : 
et magis confisi sunt Deo quam sibi ; 

scientes quia non sunt condignae passiones hujus temporis ad 
Vis tu statim habere : [futuram gloriam promerendam. 

quod multi post multas lacrimas et magnos labores vix obtinuerunt? 

Exspecta Dominum viriliter age, 
et confortare : 

noli diffidere noli discedere : 

sed corpus et animam expone constanter pro gloria Dei. 
Ego reddam plenissime ; 
ego tecum ero in omni tribulatione. 



Cap. XXXVI.— Contra Vana HominuxM Judicia. 

I. Fill. 
Jacta cor tuum firmiter in Domino: 
et humanum ne metuas judicium : 
ubi te conscientia pium reddit et insontem. 

Bonum est et beatum taliter pati ; 
nee hoc erit grave humili cordi, 
et Deo magis quam sibi ipsi confident!. 
Multi multa loquuntur ; 
et ideo parva fides est adhibenda. 

( =76 ) 



Booiv III. Chap. XXXVI. Of the Imit.\tion of Christ. 

confusions corrections and contempt. 

These things help towards virtue : 

these test the young soldier of Christ ; 

these forge the iieavenly crown. 

I will give eternal recompense for brief toil ; 

and glory without end for transitory confusion. 

III. Dost thou think always to have spiritual consolations at 
My saints had not such : [thy will ? 

but many troubles and various temptations ; 
and great desolations. [after to be won. 

I'jut they bore themselves in all with patience : 
and trusted more in God than in themselves ; 
knowing that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to 
Wouldest thou have that immediately : 
which others after many tears and great labours have scarcely ob- 

Wait for the Lord do manfully, [tained ? 

and be of good heart : 
do not despond do not fall off; 

but constantly offer both soul and body for the glory of God. 
I will recompense thee most abundantly ; 
I will be with thee in all tribulation. 



the glory here- 
,be compared with 



Chapter XXXVI.— Again.st the Vain Judgments of 'SIen. 

I. Son. 
Cast thy heart firmly on the Lord : 
and fear not the judgment of man ; 
when thy conscience assures thee of thy piety and innocence. 

It is good and blessed to suffer thus ; 
neither will this be grievous to an humble heart, 
and one that trusts in God more than in itself. 
Many say many things ; 
and therefore little trust is to he placed in them. 

( 277 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXXVI 

Sed et omnibus satis esse ; 
non est possibile. 

Etsi Paulus omnibus studuit in Domino placere, 
et omnibus omnia factus est ; 

tamen etiam pro minimo duxit quod ab humano die judicatus fuit. 
Egit satis pro aliorum aedificatione et salute quantum in se erat et 
sedneabaliis aliquando judicaretur vel non despiceretur, [poterat: 
cohibere non potuit. 

Ideo totum Deo commisit qui totum noverat ; 
et patientia ac humilitate contra ora loquentium iniqua, 

aut etiam vana ac mendosa cogitantium atque pro libitu suo quae- 
Respondit tamen interdum ; [que jactantium se defendit. 

ne infirmis ex sua taciturnitate generaretur scandalum. 

II. Quis tu, 
ut timeas a mortali homine ? 
Hodie est ; 

et eras non comparet. 
Deum time ; 

et hominum terrores non expavesces. 
Quid potest aliquis in te verbis aut injuriis? 
Sibi potius nocet quam tibi ; 

nee poterit judicium Dei effugere quicumque est ille. 
Tu habe Deum prae oculis ; 
et noli contendere verbis querulosis. 
Ouodsi ad praesens tu videris succumbi, 
et confusionem pati quam non meruisti ; 
ne indigneris ex hoc, 

neque per impatientiam minuas coronam tuam : 
sed ad me potius respice in caelum, 
qui potens sum eripere ab omni confusione et injuria ; 
et unicuique reddere secundum opera sua. 



(273) 



Book III. Chap. XXXVI. Of the Imitation ok Christ. 

Neither is it possible ; 
to content all. 

Though Paul endeavoured to please all in the Lord, 
and made himself all things to all men ; [the judgment of men. 
yet he counted it a very small thing that he should be judged by 
He laboured for the edifying and salvation of others as much as in 
Ijutthebeingsometimesjudged or despised byothers, [him lay and as 
he could not prevent. [he was able ; 

Therefore he committed all to God who knew all ; 
and defended himself by patience and humility against the tongues 

[of those who spoke evil, 
or thought and uttered vain and false things of him as they pleased. 
However he answered them sometimes ; 
lest his silence might give occasion of scandal to the weak. 

II. Who art thou, 
that thou shouldest be afraid of a mortal man ? 
To-day he is ; 

and to-morrow he appears no more. 
Fear God ; 

and thou shalt not tremble at the terrors of men. 
What can any one do against thee by words or wrongs ? 
He hurts himself rather than thee ; 
nor can he whoever he be escape the judgment of God. 
See thou have God before thine eyes ; 
and strive not with complaining words. 
And if at present thou seemest to be overcome, 
and to suffer a confusion which thou hast not deserved ; 
be not angry at this, 

and do not lessen thy crown by impatience : 
but rather look up to me in heaven, 

who am able to deliver thee from all confusion and wrong ; 
and to reward every man according to his works. 



( =79 ) 



Dk Imitatione Chiusti. Lib. III. Cap. XXXVII. 



Cap. XXXVII. -De Pura et Integra Resignatione Sui ad 
Obtinendam Cordis Libertatem. 

I. Fill. 
Relinque te ; 
et invenies me. 

Sta sine electione et omni proprietate ; 

et luci-aberis semper. 

Nam et adjicietur tibi amplior gratia ; 

statim lit te resignaveris, 

nee resumpseris. 

II. Domine quoties me resignabo : 
et in quibus me relinquam ? 

Semper et omni hora ; 
sicut in parvo sic in magno. 
Nihil excipio ; 

sed in omnibus te nudatum inveniri volo. 
Alioquin quomodo poteris esse mens et ego tuus : 
nisifueris ab omni propria voluntate intus et foris spoliatus ? 
Quanto celerius hoc agis tanto melius habebis : 
et quanto plenius et sincerius ; 
tanto mihi plus placebis, 
et amplius lucraberis. 

Quidam se resignant ; 
sed cum aliqua exceptione : 
non enim plene Deo confidunt ; 
ideo sibi providere satagunt. 
Quidam etiam primo totum offerunt : 
sed postea tentatione pulsati ad propria redeunt ; 
ideo minime in virtute proficiunt. 
Hi ad veram puri cordis libertatem, 
et jucundae familiaritatis meae gratiam non pertingent, 
nisi Integra resignatione et quotidiana sui immolatione prius facta ; 

( 280 ; 



Book III. Chap. XXXVII. Of tiik I.mitation of Ciikist. 



Chapter XXXVII.— Of a Pure and Full Resign.\tion of 
Self for Obtaining Freedom of Heart. 

I. Son. 
Leave thyself; 

and thou shah find me. 

Stand without choice or any self-seeking ; 

and thou wilt always .gain. 

For greater grace will be added to thee ; 

when thou hast perfectly given up thyself, 

and hast not taken thyself back again. 

II. Lord how often shall 1 resign myself: 
and in what things shall I leave myself ? 

Always and at all times ; 
as in little so also in great things. 
I except nothing ; 

but will have thee to be found stripped in all things of thyself. 
Otherwise how canst thou be mine and I thine : 
unless thou be both within and without despoiled of all self-will > 
The sooner thou effectest this the better will it be for thee : 
and the more fully and sincerely ; 
the more wilt thou please me, 
and the more wilt thou gain. 

Some resign themselves ; 
Ijut with a certain reserve : 
for they do not wholly trust in God ; 
and are therefore busy to provide for themselves. 
Some also at the first offer all : 

but afterwards being buffeted by temptation return again to their 
and therefore they make no progress in virtue. [own : 

These will not attain to the true liberty of a pure heart, ["fice to me ; 
nor to the grace of a delightful familiarity with me, [daily sacri- 
unless they first entirely resign themselves and offer themselves a 

( 281 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXXVIII. 

sine qua non stat nee stabit unio fruitiva. 

III. Dixi tibi saepissime ; 
at nunc iterum dico. 
Relinque te, 
resigna te ; 

et frueris magna interna pace. 
'Da totum pro toto, 
nil e.xquire, 
nil repete : 

sta pure et inhaesitanter in me ; 
et habebis me. 
Eris liber in corde ; 
et tenebrae non conculcabunt te. 
Ad hoc conare, 
hoc ora, 
hoc desidera ; 

ut ab omni proprietate possis exspoliari et nudus nudum Jesum 
tibi mori ; [sequi : 

et mihi aeternaliter vivere. 
Tunc deficient omnes vanae phantasiae ; 
conturbationes iniquae, 
et curae superfluae. 

Tunc etiam recedet immoderatus timor ; 
et inordinatus amor morietur. 



1 



Cap. XXXVIII.— De Bono Regimine in Externis et 
Recursu ad Deum in Pericui.is. 

I. Fili. 
Ad istud diligenter tendere debes, [et tui ipsius potens : 

ut in omni loco et actione seu occupatione externa sis intimus liber 
et sint omnia sub te et tu non sub eis ; 
ut sis dominus actionum tuarum el rector, 

( 282 ) 



Hook HI. Chai'. XXXNIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

for without this the union of fruition does not and cannot last. 

III. I have very often said to thee ; 
and I say it now again. 
Forsake thyself, 
resign thyself; 

and thou shalt enjoy great peace within. 
Give all for all, 
seek nothing, 
ask nothing : 

stand purely and with a full confidence in nie ; 
and thou shalt possess me. 
Thou wilt be free in heart ; 
and darkness will not tread thee down. 
.Aim at this, 
pray for this, 
long for this ; 

that thou mayest be unclothed of all self-seeking and thus mayest 
to die to thyself; [naked follow Jesus naked : 

and to live eternally to me. 
Then all vain fancies will vanisli ; 
all evil disturbances, 
and superfluous cares. 
Then too immoderate fear will leave thee ; 
and inordinate love will die. 



Ch.\pter XXXVTII.— Of Good Government in Outward 
Things and of Recourse to God in Dangers. 

I- Son. ["and master of thyself: 

Thou must diligently make it thine aim, [thou be inwardly free 
that in every place and in every action or outward employment 
and that all things be under thee and not thou under them ; 
that thou mayest be lord and ruler of thine actions, 

(283 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XXXIX. 

non servus nee emptitius : 

sed magis exemptus verusque Hebraeus in sortem ac libertatem 

[transiens filiorum Dei ; 
qui slant super praesentia at speculantur aeterna : 

qui transitoria sinistra intuentur oculo et dextro caelestia ; 

quos temporalia non trahunt ad inhaerendum : 
sed trahunt ipsi magis ea ad bene serviendum prout ordinata sunt 

[a Deo et instituta a summo opifice ; 
qui nil inordinatum in sua reliquit creatura. 

II. Si etiam in omni eventu stas non in apparentia externa, 
nee oculo carnali lustras visa vel audita : 

sed mox in qualibet causa intras cum Aloyse in tabernaculum ad 

[consulendum Dominum : 
audies nonnumquam divinum responsum ; 
et redies instructus de multis praesentibus et futuris. 
Semper enim Moyses recursum habuit ad tabernaculum pro dubiis 

[et quaestionibus solvendis ; 
fugitque ad orationis adjutorium pro periculis et improbitatibus 

[hominum sublevandis. 
Sic et tu confugere debes in cordis tui secretarium ; 
divinum intentius implorando suffragium. 

Propterea namque Josue et filii Israel a Gabaonitis leguntur 

[decepti, 
quia OS Domini prius non interrogaverunt ; 
sed nimium creduli dulcibus sermonibus, 
falsa pietate delusi sunt. 



Cap. XXXJX.— Quod Homo non sit Importunus 
IN Negotiis. 
I. Fill. 
Committe mihi semper causam tuam ; 

( 284 > 



Book III. Chap. XXXIX. Of the Imitation of Chkist. 

not a slave or bought with a price : 

but rather a freeman and a true Hebrew passing on to the in- 

[heritance and the Hb'erty of the children of God ; 

who stand above the things present and contemplate those which 

[are eternal : 
who look upon transitory things with the left eye and with the right 

[the things of heaven ; 
whom things temporal draw not to cleave to them : 
but who rather draw them to that goodly service for which they 
[were ordained by God and appointed by that highest artist : 
who has left nothing unordered in all his works. 

[not in the outward appearance, 

II. If likewise in all that may come to pass thou dost stand 

nor lookest on the things which thou seest or hearest with an eye 

[of flesh : 
but dost presently on every occasion enter like Moses into the 

[tabernacle to consult the Lord : 
thou shalt not seldom hear the divine answer ; 
and come out instructed in many things present and to come. 
For Moses always had recourse to the tabernacle for deciding 

[doubts and questions : 
and fled to the help of prayer from perils and from the untoward- 

[ness of men. 
So must thou in like manner fly to the closet of thy heart ; 
and must there earnestly implore the divine assistance. 

For Joshua and the children of Israel as thou readest were there- 

[fore deceived by the Gibeonites, 
because they did not first ask counsel from the mouth of the Lord ; 
but trusting too easily to fair words, 
were deluded with counterfeit piety. 



Chapter XXXIX.— That a Man must not be Over-eager 

IN HIS Affairs. 
I. Son. 
Always commit thy cause to me ; 

( 285 ) 



Di; iMiTATiONE Christi. Lib. 111. Cap. XL. 

ego bene disponam in tempore suo. 
Exspecta ordinationem meam ; 
et senties inde profectum. 

Domine satis libenter tibi omnes res committo ; 
quia pariim potest cogitatio mea proficere. 
Utinam non multuni adhaererem futuris eventibus ; 
sed ad beneplacitum tuum incunctanter me offerrem. 

II. Fili saepe homo rem aliquam vehementer agitat quam de- 
sed quum ad earn pervenerit, [siderat ; 

aliter sentire incipit : 

quia affectiones circa idem non sunt durabiles ; 
sed magis de uno ad aliud impellunt. 
Non est ergo minimum etiam in minimis se ipsum relinquere. 

Verus profectus hominis ; 
est abnegatio sui ipsius. 
Et homo abnegatus ; 
valde liber est et securus. 

Sed antiquus hostis omnibus bonis adversans a tentatione non 
sed die noctuque graves molitur insidias ; [cessat : 

si forte in laqueum deceptionis possit praecipitare incautum. 
Vigilate et orate dicit Dominus; 
lit non intretis in tentationem. 



1 



Cap. XL.— Quod Homo nihil Boni ex se habet, et de 
NuLLo Gloriari potest. 

I. Domine quid est homo quod memor es ejus: 
aut filius hominis quia visitas eum ? 
Quid promeruit homo : 
ut dares ill! gratiam tuam ? 
Domine quid possum conqueri si mc deseris : 
aut quid juste obtendere possum si quod peto non feceris? 
Certe hoc in veritate cogitare possum et dicere. 

( 286 ) 



Book 111. Chap. XL. Ok the Imitation oi- Chkist. 

I will dispose well of it in due season. 

Wait for my disposal ; 

and thou shalt find profit therein. 

Lord I willingly commit all things to thee; 
for my thinking can profit little. 

Would that I did not cleave so much to future events ; 
but offered myself with all readiness to thy good pleasure. 

II. Son oftentimes a man eagerly sets about a thing which he 
but when he has obtained it, [desires ; 

he begins to be of another mind : 

for the inclinations of men do not continue long upon the same 
but rather urge them to go from one thing to another. [thing ; 

It is therefore no trifling matter to forsake thyself even in the least 

The true progress of man ; [things, 

consists in denying himself. 
And the man who has denied himself ; 
is wholly free and safe. 

But the old enemy who opposes all that is good ceases not to 
but day and night weaves his dark device ; [tempt : 

if perchance he may throw the unwary into the snare of deception. 
Watch and pray saith the Lord ; 
that ye enter not into temptation. 



Chapter XL.— That Man has no Good in Himself, and 

CAN Glokv in None. 

I. Lord what is man that thou art mindful of him : 
or the son of man that thou visitest him ? 
What has man deserved : 
that thou shouldest give him thy grace ? 
Lord how can I complain if thou forsake me : 
or what can I justly allege if thou dost not what I seek ? 
This indeed I may truly think and say. 

( 287 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XL. 

Domine nihil sum, 

nihil possum : 

nihil boni ex me habeo ; 

sed in omnibus deficio, 

et ad nihil semper tendo. 

Et nisi a te fuero adjutus et interius informatus ; 

totus efficior tepidus et dissolutus. 

[semper bonus Justus et sanctus : 

Tu autem Domine semper idem ipse es et permanes in aeternum 
bene juste ac sancte agens omnia et disponens in sapientia : 
sed ego qui ad defectum sum magis pronus quam ad profectum, 
non sum semper in uno statu perdurans ; 

quia septem tempora mutantur super me. | eris adjutricem ; 

Verumtamen cito melius fit quum tibi placuerit et manum porrex- 
quia tu solus sine humano suffragio poteris auxiliari, 
et in tantum confirmare : 

ut vultus meus amplius in diversa non mutetur ; 
sed in te uno cor meum convertatur et quiescat. 

Unde si bene scirem omnem humanam consolationem abjicere, 
sive propter devotionem adipiscendam ; 
sive propter necessitatem qua compellor te quaerere, 
quia non est homo qui me consoletur : 
tunc possem merito de gratia tua sperare ; 
et de dono novae consolationis exsultare. 

*" II. Gratias tibi unde totum ven it : 
quotiescumque mihi bene succedit. 

Ego autem vanitas et nihilum ante te ; 
inconstans homo et infirmus. 
Unde ergo possum gloriari : 
aut cur appeto reputari .? 
Numquid de nihilo ? 
Et hoc vanissimum est. 

Vere inanis gloria mala pestis vanitas maxima : 
quia a vera trahit gloria ; 
et caelesti spoliat gratia. 
Dum enim homo complacet sibi displicet tibi ; 



Book 111. Chap. XL. Of the iMriATioN of Christ. 

Lord I am nothing, 

I can do nothing : 

I iiave nothing of myself that is good ; 

l3ut in all things I come short, 

and ever tend to nothing. 

And unless I am supported and inwardly informed by tliee ; 

I become altogether lukewarm and am brought to nought. 

[always good just and lioly : 

But thou O Lord art always the same and endurest for ever 
doing all things well justly and holily and disposing them in wisdom: 
but I who am more inclined to go back than to go forward, 
continue not always in one state ; 

for seven times have passed over me. [est out thy helping hand ; 
Yet it quickly becomes better when it pleases thee and thou stretch- 
for thou alone without the aid of man canst assist me, 
and so strengthen me : 

that my countenance be no more changed towards other objects ; 
but my heart be converted and rest in thee alone. 

Wherefore if I did but well know how to cast away from me all 
either for the sake of attaining to devotion ; [human consolation, 
or through the necessity of seeking thee, 
because there is no man that can comfort me : 
then might I justly depend on thy grace : 
and exult in the gift of new consolation. 

IL Thanks be to thee from whom all comes : 
as often as it goes well with me. 

But I am vanity and nothing in thy sight ; 
an unstable man and weak. 
What have I then to glory in : 
or why do I desire to be esteemed ? 
Ls it for my nothingness ? 
This also is most vain. 

Truly vain glory is an evil plague a very great vanity : 
because it draws us away from true glory ; 
and leaves us bare of heavenly grace. 
For whilst a man takes pleasure in himself he displeases thee ; 

( 289 ) u 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLI. 

dum inhiat laudibus humanis privatur veris viriutibus. 

Est autem vera gloria et exsultatio sancta, 
gloriari in te et non in se ; 
gaudere in nomine tuo non in propria virtnte ; 
nee in aliqua creatura delectari nisi propter te. 

Laudetur nomen tuum non meum ; 
magnificetur opus tuum non meum : 
benedicatur nomen sanctum tuum ; 
nihil mihi autem attribuatur de laudibus hominum. 
Tu gloria mea tu exsultatio cordis mei : 
in te gloriabor et exsultabo tota die ; 
pro me autem nihil nisi in infirmitatibus meis. 

Quaerant Judaei gloriam quae ab invicem est ; 
ego hanc requiram quae a solo Deo est. 
Omnis quidem gloria humana, 
omnis honor temporalis, 
omnis altitude mundana, 
aeternae gloriae tuae comparata ; 
vanitas est et stultitia. 

O Veritas mea et misericordia mea Deus meus Trinitas beata . 
tibi soli laus honor virtus gloria ; 
per infinita saeculorum saecula. 



Cap. XLI.— De Contemptu omnis Temporalis Honoris. 



I. Fill noli tibi attrahere, 
si videas alios honorari et elevari ; 
te autem despici et humiliari. 
Erigc cor tuum ad me in caelum ; 
et non contristabit te contemptus hominum in terris. 

n. Domine in caecitate sumus ; 
et vanitate cito seducimur. 

( 290 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLI. Of tiil: Imitation of Ciikist. 

whilst he yearns after the praises of men he is deprived of true 
But true glory and holy joy, [virtue. 

is to eflory in thee and not in self; 

to rejoice in thy name and not in our own virtue ; 

and not to be delighted in any creature save only for thy sake. 
Let thy name be praised not mine ; 

let thy work be magnified not mine : 

let thy holy name be blessed ; 

but to me let nothing be attributed of the praises of men. 

Thou art my glory thou the rejoicing of my heart : 

in thee will I glory and rejoice all the day long ; 

but for myself I will glory in nothing save in mine infirmities. 
Let the Jews seek glory one man of another ; 

I will seek that which is from God alone. 

All human glory indeed, 

all temporal honour, 

all worldly grandeur, 

compared with thy eternal glory ; 

is vanity and foolishness. 

O my truth and my mercy my God blessed Trinity : 

to thee alone be praise honour power gloiy ; 

for endless ages of ages. 



Chapter XLL— Of the Contempt of all Temporal 

Honour. 

I. Son take it not to heart, 
if thou seest others honoured and advanced ; 
and thyself despised and humiliated. 
Lift up thy heart to me in heaven ; 
and the contempt of men on earth will not sadden thee. 

n. Lord we are in blindness ; 
and are quickly seduced by vanity. 

( 291 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLII. 

Si recte me inspicio: 
numquam mihi facta est injuria, ab aliqua creUura 5 
unde nee juste habeo conqueri adversum te. 
Quia autem frequenter et graviter peccavi tibi ; 
merito armatur contra me omnis creatura. 
Mihi igitur juste debetur confusio et contemptus : 
tibi autem laus honor et gloria. 

Et nisi me ad hoc praeparavero quod veHm libenter ab omni 
atque penitus nihil videri : [creatura despici et relinqui, 

non possum interius pacificari et stabihri ; 
nee spiritualiter illuminari neque plene tibi uniri. 



Cap. XLII.— Quod Pax non est Ponenda in Hominibus. 

I. FiH 

Si ponis pacem tuam cum aliqua persona propter tuum sentire et 

instablHs eris et implicatus. [convivere ; 

Sed si recursum habes ad semper viventem et manentem veritatem ; 

non contristabit amicus recedens aut moriens. 

In me debet amici dilectio stare : 

et propter me diligendus est quisquis tibi bonus visus est ; 

et multum carus in hac vita. 

Sine me non valet nee durabit amicitia: 

nee est vera et munda dilectio ; 

quani ego non eopulo. 

[hominuin ; 

II. Ita mortuus debes esse talibus affectionibus dilectorum 
ut quantum ad te pertinet sine omni humano optares esse con- 
Tanto homo Deo magis appropinquat ; [sortie, 
quanto ab omni solatio terrene lon^ius reeedit. 

Tanto etiam altius ad Deum ascendit ; 

quanto profundius in se descendit et plus sibi ipsi vilescit. 

Qui autem sibi aliquid boni attribuit : 

gratiam Dei in se venire impedit : 

( 292 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLII. Of the rMnwrioN ok Chkist 

If I look well into myself: 
never was any wrong done me by any creature ; 
and therefore I cannot justly complain of thee. 
But because I have often and grievously sinned against thee ; 
all creatures are rightly arrayed against me. 
To me therefore confusion and contempt are justly due ; 
but to thee praise honour and glory. 

And unless I put myself in this disposition to be willing to be de- 
and to be esteemed nothing at all : Tspised and forsaken 

I cannot arrive at inward peace and strength ; | by all creatures, 
nor be spiritually enlightened nor fully united to thee. 



Chapter XLII.— That our Peace is not to be Placed in 

Men. 

I. Son. 

If thou placest thy peace in any man for the sake of thy content- 

thou sh;dt be unsettled and entangled. [ment and his company ; 

But if thou hast recourse to the ever-living and abiding truth ; 

thou shalt not be grieved when a friend departs or dies. 

In me the love of thy friend must stand ; 

and for me he is to be loved whoever he he that appears to thee 

and very dear in this life. [good ; 

Without me no friendship is firm nor lasting : 

nor is that love true and pure ; 

which is not joined together l^y me. 

[beloved ; 

II. Thou oughtest to be so far dead to such affections of men 
as to wish as far as thou canst to be without any human company. 
By so much the more does a man draw nigh to God ; 

as he goes away from all earthly solace. 

So much the higher also he ascends unto God ; 

by how much he descends lower into himself and grows viler in 

But he who ascribes any thing of good to himself: [his own eyes. 

hinders the grace of God from coming into him ; 

( 293 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLIII. 

quia gratia Spiritus sancti cor humile semper quaerit. 
Si scires te perfecte annihilare atque ab omni creato amore 

[evacuare ; 
tunc deberem in te cum magna gratia emanare. 
Quando tu respicis ad creaturas ; 
subtrahitur tibi aspectus Creatoris. 
Disce te in omnibus propter Creatorem vincere ; 
tunc ad divinam valebis cognitionem pertingere. 
Quantumcumque modicum sit si inordinate diligitur et respicitur ; 
retardat a summo et vitiat. « 



Cap. XLIII. -Contra Vanam et Saecularem Scientiam. 

L Fili. 
Non te moveant pulchra et subtilia hominum dicta. 
Non enim est regnum Dei in sermone ; 
sed in virtute. 

Attende verba mea quae corda accendunt et mentes illuminant : 
inducunt compunctionem et variam ingerunt consolationem. 

Numquam ad hoc legas verbum ; 
ut doctior aut sapientior possis videri. 
Stude mortificationi vitiorum ; 

quia hoc amplius tibi proderit quam notitia niultarum difficilium 
Ouum multa legeris et cognoveris ; [quaestionum. 

ad unum semper oportet redire principium. 

Ego sum, 
qui doceo hominem scientiam : 
et clariorem inteliigentiam parvulis tribuo : 
quam ab homine possit doceri. 
Cui ego loquor cito sapiens erit : 
et multum in spiritu proficiet. 

Vae eis qui multa curiosa ab hominibus inquirunt ; 
et de via mihi serviendi parum curanl. 

Veniet tempus quando apparebit magister magistrorum Christus 
cunctorum auditurus lectiones ; [dominus angelorum, 

( 294 ) 



Rook III. Chap. XLIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

for the grace of the Holy Spirit ever seeks an humble heart. 
If thou couldest perfectly annihilate thyself and cast out fl-om thy- 

[self all created love ; 
then would it be my part to pour myself into thee with abundant 
When thou lookest towards creatures ; [grace, 

the sight of the Creator is withdrawn from thee. 
Learn for the sake of the Creator to overcome thyself in all things ; 
then thou shalt be able to attain to the knowledge of God. 
How little soever it be if a thing be inordinately loved and 
it keeps thee back from the highest and corrupts thee, [regarded ; 



Chapter XLIII.— Against Vain and Worldly Learning. 

I. Son. 
Be not moved with the fair and subtle sayings of men. 
For the kingdom of God is not in speech ; 

but in power. [mind ; 

Hearken to my words which inflame the heart and enlighten the 
which excite to compunction and infuse manifold consolations. 

Never read the Word ; 
in order that thou mayest appear more learned or more wise. 
Study to mortify thy vices ; [hard questions, 

for this will avail thee more than the being able to answer many 
When thou hast read and shalt know many things ; 
thou must always return to one beginning. 

I am he, 
who teaches men knowledge : 
and I give a clearer understanding to little ones ; 
than can be taught by man. 
He to whom I speak will quickly be wise ; 
and will make great progress in spirit. 

Woe to them who inquire of men after many curious things ; 
and are little curious of the way to serve me. 

The time will come when Christ the master of masters the lord of 
to hear the lessons of all men ; [angels shall appear, 

( 295 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLIII. 

hoc est singulorum e.xaminaturus conscientias : 
et tunc scrutabitur Jerusalem in lucernis ; 
et manifesta erunt abscondita tenebrarum, 
tacebuntque argumenta linguarum. 

II. Ego sum qui humilem in puncto elevo uientem : 
ut plures aeternae veritatis capiat rationes ; 
quam si quis decem annis studuisset in scholis. 

Ego doceo sine strepitu verborum, 
sine confusione opinionum ; 
sine fastu honoris, 
sine pugnatione argumentorum. 

Ego sum qui doceo terrena despicere praesentia fastidire : 
aeterna quaerere, 
aeterna sapere ; 
honores fugere, 
scandala sufferre : 
omnem spem in me ponere, 
e.Ktra me nil cupere ; 
et super omnia me ardenter amare. 
Nam quidam amando me intime, 
didicit divina ; 
et loquebatur mirabilia. 
Plus profecit in relinquendo omnia ; 
quam in studendo subtilia. 

Sed aliis loquor communia aliis specialia : 
aliquibus in signis et figuris dulciter appareo ; 
quibusdam vero in multo lumine revelo mysteria. 
Una vox librorum sed non omnes aeque informat : 
quia intus sum doctor Veritas scrutator cordis cogitationum 
actionum promotor ; [intellector, 

distribuens singulis sicut dignum judicavero. 



( 296) 



Book 111. Chap. XLIII. Of TiiE Imitation of Christ. 

that is to examine the consciences of every one : 

and then he will search Jerusalem with lamps ; 

and the hidden things of darkness shall be brought to light, 

and the arguments of tongues shall be hushed 

II. I am he who in an instant elevate an humble mind : 
to comprehend more reasons of eternal truth ; 
than if a man had studied ten > ears in the schools. 

I teach without noise of words, 
without confusion of opinions ; 
without parade of honour, 
without wrangling of arguments. 

I am he who teach to despise earthly things to loathe things 
to seek things eternal, [present : 

to relish things eternal ; 
to shun honours, 
to endure scandals : 
to repose all hope in me, 
to desire nothing out of me ; 
and ardently to love me above all things. 
For a certain man by loving me in his inmost soul, 
learned divine things ; 
and spoke things wonderful. 
He profited more by forsaking all things ; 
than by studying subtleties. 

But to some I speak things common to others special things : 
to some I appear sweetly in signs and figures ; 
to others I unveil mysteries in much light. [alike : 

The voice of the books is the same but it teaches not all men 
because I am the interior teacher the truth the searcher of the 
the furtherer of actions ; [heart the understander of thoughts, 

distributing to every one as I judge fitting. 



( 297 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLV. 



Cap. XLIV.— De non Attrahendo sibi Res Exteriores. 

I. Fili. 

In multis oportet te esse inscium, 

at aestimare te tamquam mortuum super terrain, 

et cui totus mundus crucifixus sit. 

Multa etiam oportet surda aure pertransire, 

et quae tuae pacis sunt, 

magis cogitare. 

Utilius est oculos a rebus displicentibus avertere, 

et unicuique suum sentire relinquere, 

quam contentiosis sermonibus deservire. 

Si bene steteris cum Deo, 

et ejus judicium aspexeris, 

facilius te victum portabis. 

II. O Domine, 
quousque venimus ? 

Ecce damnum defletur temporale : 

pro medico quaestu laboratur et curritur ; 

et spirituale detrimentum in oblivionem transit, 

et vix sero reditur. 

Quod parum, 

vel nihil prodest attenditur, 

et quod summe necessarium est, 

negligenter praeteritur ; 

quia totus homo ad externa defluii et nisi cito resipiscat, 

libens in exterioribus jacet. 



Cap. XLV.— Quod Omnibus non est Credendum. et de 
Facili Lapsu Verborum. 

I. Da mihi auxilium Domine de tribuhitione, 
quia vana salus hominis. 

( 298 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLV. Oi- the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter XLIV.— Of not Drawing to Ourselves Exterior 

Things. 
I Son. 

In many thinc^s it behoves thee to be ignorant, 

and to esteem thyself as dead upon earth, 

and as one to whom the whole world is crucified. 

Many things also must thou pass by with a deaf ear, 

and of those things which belong to thy peace, 

think rather. 

It is more profitable to turn thine eyes from such things as displease 

and to leave to every one his own way of thinking, [thee, 

than to be a slave to conscientious discourses. 

If thou standest well with God, 

and lookest at his judgment, 

thou wilt more easily bear thyself when thou art worsted. 

II, O Lord, 
to what are we come ? 

Behold a temporal loss is greatly bewailed : 
for a small gain men toil and run ; 
but spiritual detriment is soon forgotten, 
and hardly ever returns to mind. 
That which is of little, 
or no profit takes up our thoughts, 
and that which is above all things necessary, 

is negligently passed over ; [quickly recovers himself, 

for the whole man flows out upon outward things and unless he 
he is content to lie in those things that are without. 



Chapter XLV.— Th.\t all Men are not to be Trusted, 

AND THAT MeN ARE PRONE TO OFFEND IN WORDS. 

I. Lord give me help from trouble, 
for vsLin is the help of man. 

( 299 ) 



Df. Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLV, 

Quam saepe ibi non inveni fidem, 

ubi me habere putavi. 

Quoties etiam ibi reperi, 

ubi minus praesiimpsi. ' 

Vana ergo spes in hominibus, 

salus autem justorum in te Deus. 

Benedictus sis Domine Deusmeus, 

in omnibus quae accidunt nobis. 

Infirmi sumus et instabiles, 
cito fallimur et permutamur. 
Quis est homo, 

qui ita caute et circumspecte in omnibus se custodire valet, 
ut aliqua!ido in aliquam deceptionem vel perplexitatem non veniat ? 
Sed qui in te Domine confidit, 
ac simplici ex corde quaerit, 
non tam facile labitur. 
Et si inciderit aliquam tribulationem, 
quocumque modo fuerit etiam implicatus, 
citius per te eruetur, 
aut a te consolabitur ; 
quia tu non deseres in te sperantem usque in finem. 

Rarus fidus amicus, 
in cunctis amici perseverans pressuris. 
Tu Domine, 

tu solus es fidelissimus in omnibus, 
et praeter te non est alter talis. 

II. O quam bene sapuit sancta ilia anima, 
quae dixit. 

Mens mea solidata est, 
et in Christo fundata. 
Si ita mecum foret, 

non tam facile timor humanus mc soUicitaret, 
nee verborum jacula moverent. 

Quis omnia praevidere, 
quis praecavere futura mala sufficit ? 
Si praevisa saepe etiam laedunt, 

( 300 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

How often have I not found faithfulness there, 

where I thought I was sure of it. 

And how often have I found it there, 

where I little expected it. 

Vain therefore is all hope in men, 

but the safety of the just is in thee O God. 

Blessed be thou O Lord my God, 

in all things which befall us. 

We are weak and unstable, 
we are quickly deceived and clianged. 
Who is the man, 

that is able to keep himself so warily and circumspectly in all things, 
as not to fall sometimes into some deceit or perplexity? 
But he who trusts in thee O Lord, 
and seeks thee with a simple heart, 
does not so easily fall. 
And if he come into some tribulation, 
in what manner soever he may be entangled therewith, 
he will quickly be either rescued, 
or consoled by thee ; 
for thou wilt not forsake him who trusts in thee to the end. 

A trusty friend is rare, 
one who continues faithful in all the distresses of his friend. 
Thou O Lord, 

thou alone art most faithful in all things, 
and besides thee there is no other such. 

IL Oh how wise was that holy soul, 
who said. 

My mind is strongly settled, 
and grounded upon Christ. 
If it were so with me, 

the fear of man would not so easily trouble me, 
nor the darts of words move me. 

Who is able to foresee all things, 
who to provide against future evils ? 
If things foreseen nevertheless often hurt us, 

( 301 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. 111. Cai'. XI.V, 

quid improvisa nisi graviter feriunt? 

Sed quare mihi misero non melius pro\ idi ? 

Cur etiam tam facile aliis credidi ? 

Sed homines sumus, 

nee aliud quam fragiles homines sumus, 

etiamsi an^^eli a multis aestimamur et dicimur. 

Cui credam Domine ? 
Cui, 

nisi tibi? 
Veritas es, 
quae non fallis : 
nee falli potes. 

Et rursum omnis homo mendax, 
infirmus, 
instabilis, 

et labilis maxime in verbis ; 
ita ut statim vix credi debeat, 
quod rectum in facie sonare videtur. 

Quam prudenter praemonuisti cavendum ab hominibus : 
et quia inimici hominis domestici ejus ; 
nee credendum si quis dixerit ecce liic aut ecce ilHc. 

Doctus sum damno meo ; 
et utinam ad cautelam majorem et non ad insipientiam mihi. 
Cautus esto ait quidam cautus esto ; 
serva apud te quod dice. 
Et dum ego sileo et absconditum credo : 
nee ille silere potest quod silendum petiit ; 
sed statim prodit me et se et abiit. 

Ab hujusmodi fabulis et ineautis liominibus protege me Domine 
nee umquam taUa committam. [ne in manus eorum incidam ; 

Verbum verum et stabile da in os meum ; 
et hnguam callidam fac a me. 4 

Ouod pati nolo ; 
omnimode cavere debeo. 

III. O quam bonum et pacificum, 

( 302 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLV. Of the ImitatiOxN of Christ. 

how can things unlocked for fail to wound us grievously? 

But why did I not provide better for myself wretch that I am ? 

Why also have I so easily put my trust in olliers ? 

But we are men, 

nor aught but frail men, 

though by many we are reputed and called angels. 

In whom shall I put my trust O Lord? 
In whom, 
but thee ? 

Thou art the Truili, 
who canst neither deceive : 
nor be deceived. 

And on the other hand every man is a liar, 
inhrm, 
unstable, 

and subject to fail especially in words ; 
so that we ought with difificulty to believe, 
even that which in appearance seems to iound well. 

How wisely dost thou forewarn us to beware of men : 
and that a man's foes shall be they of his own household ; 
and that we are not to believe if an)- one should say lo here or lo 

I have been taught to my cost ; [there. 

and would that it may serve to make me more cauiious and not to 
Be wary saith one be wary ; [increase my folly, 

keep to thyself what I tell thee. 

And whilst I hold my peace and believe the matter to be secret : 
he himself cannot keep the secret which he desires me to keep ; 
but presently betrays both me and himself and goes his way. 

From such tales and such unwary men defend me O Lord 
nor ever do the like. [that I fall not into their hands ; 

Give to my mouth true and constant words ; 
and remove far from me a crafty tongue. 
What I will not endure ; 
I ought by all means to shun. 

III. Oh how good a thing and how peaceable it is, 

( 303 ) 



De Imitatione Chkisti. Liu. III. Cap. XLVI. 

de aliis silere : 

nee indifferenter omnia credere, 
neque de facili ulterius effari ; 
paucis se ipsum revelare : 
te semper inspectorem cordis quaerere, 

nee omni vento verborum circumferri ; [optare perfici. 

sed omnia intima et externa secundum placitum tuae voluntatis 

Quani tutum pro conservatione caelestis gratiae humanam fugere 

[apparentiam : 
nee appetere quae foris admirationem videntur praebere : 
sed ea tota sedulitate sectari quae vitae emendationem dant et fer- 

[vorem. 
Quam multis nocuit virtus scita ac praepropere laudata : 

quam sane profuit gratia silentio servata in hac fragili vita ; 
quae tota tentatio fertur et militia. 



Cap. XLVI.— De Confidentia in Deo habenda quanoo 

INSURGUNT X'ERBORUM JACULA. 

I. Fili. 
Sta firmiter et spera in me. 
Quid enim sunt verba nisi vei'ba ? 
Per aerein volant ; 
sed lapidem non laedunt. 
Si reus es ; 

cogita quod libenter emendare te velis. 
Si nihil tibi conscius es ; 

pensa quod velis libenter pro Deo hoc sustinere. 
Parum satis est ut vel verba interdum sustineas ; 
qui necdum fortia verbera tolerare vales. 

Et quare tarn parva tibi ad cor transeunt : 
nisi quia adhuc carnalis es, 
et homines magis quam oportet attendis ? 

( 304 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLVI. Of the Imitation' of Christ. 

to be silent about others : 
and not to believe inditferently all, 
nor easily tell out what we hear ; 

to lay one's self open to few : of thy will, 

always to seek thee the beholder of the heart, the pleasure 
and not to be carried about by every wind of words ; laccording to 
but to wish that all things both within and without may be done 
How safe it is for the keeping of heavenly grace to shun the 

[appearing in the sight of men : 
and not to seek those things which seem to cause admiration abroad : 
l)ut with all diligence to follow after what brings amendment of 

[life and fervour. 
To how many has it been hurtful to have their virtue known and 

[over-hastily praised : 
liovv profitable indeed has grace been when kept with silence in 
which is said to be wholly a temptation and a warfare, [this frail life ; 



Chapter XLVI. — Of having Confidence in God when 
Taunts ari.se against us. 

1. Son. 
Stand firm and trust in me. 
For what are words but words ? 
They fly through the air ; 
but hurt not a stone. 
If thou art guilty ; 

consider that thou wouldest gladly amend thyself. 
If thou know nothing against thyself: 
think that thou wouldest be glad to bear this for God. 
It is not enough that thou shouldest sometimes put up even with 
if thou hast not as yet the courage to endure hard stripes, [words ; 

And why do such small things go to thy heart : 
but because thou art yet carnal, 
and regardest men more than thou shouldest ? 

( 305 ) X 



De Imitatioxe Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLVI. 

Nam quia despici metuis reprehendi pro excessibus non vis ; 

et excusationum umbracula quaeris. 

Sed inspice te melius, 

et agnosces quia vivit adhuc in te mundus : 

et vanus amor placendi hominibus. 

Quum enim bassari refugis et confundi pro defectibus : 

constat utique quod nee verus humilis sis ; 

nee vere mundo mortuus, 

nee mundus tibi crucifixus. 

Sed audi verbum meum ; 
et non curabis decem milia verba hominum. 

Ecce si cuncta contra te dicerentur quae fingi malitiosissime pos- 
quid tibi nocerent, [sent : 

si omnino transire permitteres, 
nee plus quam festucam perpenderes ? 
Xumquid vel unum capillum tibi extrahere possent? 

Sed qui cor intus non habet nee Deum prae oculis ; 
faciliter verbo movetur vituperationis. 
Qui autem in me confidit nee proprio judicio stare appetit ; 
absque humane terrore erit. 

Ego enim sum judex et cognitor omnium secretorum : 
ego scio qualiter res acta est ; 
ego injuriantem novi et sustineniem. 
A me exiit verbum istud : 
me permittente hoc accidit ; 
ut revelentur ex multis cordibus cogitationes. 
Ego reum et innocentem judicabo : 
sed occulto judicio utrumque ante probare volui. 
Testimonium hominum saepe fallit : 
meum judicium verum est ; 
stabit et non subvertetur. 
Latet plerumque et paucis ad singula patet ; 
numquam tamen errat nee errare potest ; 
etiamsi oculis insipientium non rectum videalur. 

Ad me ergo currendum est in omni judicio ; 
nee proprio inniiendum arbitiro. 

( 306 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLVI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

For because thou art afraid of being despised thou art not yet 

and seekest the shelter of excuses. Twining to be blamed 

But look better into thyself, ifor thy faults ; 

and thou shalt lind that the world is still living in thee; 

and a vain desire of pleasing men. 

For when thou shrinkest to be abased and put to confusion for 

it is very certain that thou art not truly humble ; [thy defects : 

nor truly dead to the world, 

nor is the world cruciried to thee. 

But give ear to my word ; 
and thou shalt not heed ten thousand words of men. 
Behold if all should be said against thee which the worst malice of 
what hurt could it do thee, [men could invent : 

if thou wouldest let it pass altogether by, 
and not care for it more than ior a straw .? 
Could it so much as pluck off even one hair from thee? 

But he who has not his heart within nor God before his eyes ; 
is easily moved by a word of dispraise. 

But he who trusts in me and desires not to stand by his own 
will be free from the fear of men. [judgment ; 

For I am the judge and discerncr of all secrets : 
I know how the thing was done ; 

I know him who did the wrong and him who suffered it. 
From me this word went forth : 
by my permission this took place ; 
that out of many hearts thoughts might be revealed. 
I shall judge the guilty and the innocent ; 

but by a secret judgment I have desired beforehand to try them 
The testimony of men oftentimes deceives : [both. 

my judgment is true : 
it shall stand and not be overthrown. 

It is hidden for the most part and to few laid open in every thing; 
yet it never errs nor can err ; 
though to the eyes of fools it seem not right. 

To me therefore must thou run in every judgment ; 
nor must thou depend upon thine own decision. 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. C.\p. XLVII. 

Justus enim non conturbabitur; 

quidquid a Deo ei acciderit. 

Etiamsi injuste aliquid contra euni prolatum fuerit ; 

non multum curabit. 

Sed nee vane exsultabit ; 

si per alios rationabiliter excusetur. 

Pensat namque quia ego sum scrutans corda et renes ; 

qui non judico secundum faciem et humanam apparentiam. 

Nam saepe in oculis meis reperitur culpabile ; 

quod hominum judicio creditur laudabile. 

II. Domine Dcus judex juste fortis et patiens, 
qui hominum nosti fragilitatem et pravitatem : 
esto robur meum et tota fiducia mea : 
non enim mihi sufficit conscientia mea. 
Tu nosti quod ego non novi : 

et ideo in omni reprehensione humiliare me debui et mansuete sus- 
Ignosce quoque mihi propitius, [tinere. 

quoties sic non egi ; 

et dona iterum gratiam amplioris sufterentiae. [indulgentiae ; 

Melior est enim mihi tua copiosa misericordia ad consecutionem 
quam mea opinata justitia pro defensione latentis conscientiae. 
Et si nihil mihi conscius sum : 
tamen in hoc justificare me non possum : 

quia remota misericordia tua non justiticabitur in conspectu tuo 

[omnis vivens. 



Cap. XL\'II.— Quod omnia Gravia pro .\t:ti:r\a Vita sunk 

tot.eraxda. 
I. Fill. 
Non te frangant labores quos assumpsisti propter me nee tribula- 

[tiones te dejiciant usquequaque ; 
sed mea promissio in omni eventii te roboret et consoletur. J 

( 30B ) 



Book III. Cii.\i». XLVII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

For the just man will not be troubled ; 

whatever happens to him from God. 

Even if any thing be wrongfully uttered against him ; 

he will not greatly care. 

Yet neither will he vainly rejoice ; 

if by others he be reasonably excused. 

For he considers that I am he who search the hearts and reins ; 

who judge not according to the face nor according to human ap- 

For oftentimes that is found blameworthy in mine eyes ; [pearance. 

which in the judgment of men is esteemed praiseworthy. 

II. O Lord God just judge strong and patient, 
who knowest the frailty and perverseness of men : 
be thou my strength and all my trust ; 
for mine own conscience suffices me not. 
Thou knowest that which I know not ; 

and therefore in every rebuke I ought to have humbled myself and 
Pardon me therefore in thy mercy, [borne it with meekness. 

as often as I have not done thus ; 
and give me again the grace of greater endurance. 
For better to me is thine abundant mercy for the obtaining of pardon ; 
than the justice which I imagine in myself for the defence of my 
Although my conscience accuse me not ; [hidden conscience, 

yet I cannot herein justify myself; 

for setting thy mercy aside in thy sight no man living shall be 

[justified. 



Chapter XLVII.— That all Grievous Things are to de 
Kndurkd for Life Everlasting. 
I. Son. 
Be not dismayed with the labours which thou hast taken on thee 
[for me neither let tribulations quite cast thee down ; 
but let my promise strengthen and comfort thee in all events. 

( 309 ) 



Df, Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLVII. 

Ego sufficiens sum ad reddendum supra omnem modum et men- 
Non diu hie laborabis ; [suram. 

ncc semper gravaberis doloribus. 

Exspecta paulisper : 

et videbis celerem finem malorum. 

Veniet una hora : 

quando cessabit omnis labor et tumultus. 

Modicum est et breve ; 

omne quod transit cum tempore. 
Age quod agis : 

fideliter labora in vinea mea ; 

ego ero merces tua. 

Scribe lege canta, 

geme tace ora : 

sustine viriliter contraria ; 

digna est his omnibus et majoribus proeliis vita aeterna. 

Veniet pax in die una quae nota est Domino : 

et erit non dies neque nox hujus scilicet temporis ; 

sed lux perpetua claritas infinita, 

pax firma et requies secura. 

Non dices tunc quis me liberabit de corpore mortis hujus : 

neque clamabis lieu mihi quia incolatus meus pro longatus est ; 

quoniam praecipitabitur mors, 

et salus erit indcfectiva : 

anxietas nulla, 

jucunditas beata. 

societas dulcis et decora. 

II. O si vidisses sanctorum in caelo coronas perpetuas : 
quanta quoque nunc exsultant gloria, 

qui huic mundo olim contemptibiles et quasi vita ipsa indigni puta- 
profecto te statim humiliares usque ad terram, [bantur : 

et affectares potius omnibus subesse quam uni praeesse ; 
nee hujus vitae laetos dies concupisceres: 
sed magis pro Deo tribulari gauderes : 

et pro nihilo inter homines computari maximum lucrum duceres. 
O si tibi haec saperent et profunde ad cor transirent : 

( 310 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLVIl. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

I am sufficient to requite beyond all mode and measure. 

Not long shalt thou labour here ; 
nor be always oppressed with sorrows. 
Wait a little while ; 

and thou shalt see a speedy end of evils. 
An hour will come ; 
when all toil and tumult shall cease. 
All is little and short ; 
which passes away with time. 

Do what thou hast to do : 
labour faithfully in my vineyard ; 
I will be thy reward. 
Write read sing, 
sigh keep silence pray : 
bear manfully all that is against thee ; 
eternal life is worth all these and greater combats. 
Peace shall come in a day known to the Lord : 
there shall not be day nor night as in the time that now is ; 
but everlasting light infinite brightness, 

steadfast peace and secure rest. [this death : 

Then thou shalt not say who shall deliver me from the body of 
nor shalt thou cry out woe to me that my sojourning is prolonged ; 
for death shall be cast down headlong, 
and there shall be never-failing health : 
no anxiety, 
but blessed delight, 
companionship sweet and fair. 

[heaven ; 
II. Oh hadst thou seen the everlasting crowns of the saints in 
and in how great glory they now triumph, [even unworthy of life : 
who once appeared contemptible to this world and in a manne 
doubtless thou wouldest presently humble thyself to the ground, 
and wouldest seek rather to be under all than to have command over 
neither wouldest thou covet the glad days of this life : [even one; 
but rather rejoice to suffer tribulation for God ; [amongst men. 

and wouldest deem it thy greatest gain to be reputed as nothing 
Oh if these things were sweet to thy taste and sank deeply down 

( 311 ) [into thy heart : 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLVIII. 

quomodo auderes vel semel conqueri .'' 

Nonne pro vita aeterna cuncta laboriosa sunt toleranda ? 

Non est parvum quid, 

perdere aut lucrari regnuni Dei. 

Leva igitur faciem tuam in caelo : 
ecce, 

ego et omnes sancti mei mecum : 
qui in lioc saeculo magnum habueie ceitamen. 
Modo gaudent, 
modo consolantur: 
modo secuii sunt modo requiescunt ; 
et sine fine mecum in regno Patris mei permanebunt. 



Cap. XLVIII.— De Die Aeternitatis et hujus Vitae 

Angustiis. 

I. O supernae civitatis mansio beatissima, 
O dies aeternitatis clarissima : 
quam nox non obscurat ; 
sed summa Veritas semper irradiat : 
dies semper laeta semper secura ; 
et numquam statum mutans in contraria. 
O utinam dies ilia illuxisset ; 
et cuncta haec temporalia finem accepissent. 
Lucet quidem Sanctis perpetua claritate splendida ; 
sed non nisi a longe et per speculum peregrinantibus in terra. 
Norunt caeli cives quam gaudiosa sit ilia ; 
gemunt exsules filii Evae quod amara et taediosa sit ista. 

Dies hujus temporis parvi et mali : 
pleni doloribus et angustiis ; 
ubi homo multis peccatis inquinatur, 
multis passionibus irretitur : 
multis timoribus stringitur, 
multis curis distenditur ; 
multis curiositatibus distrahitur, 

( 312 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLVIII. Of the Imit.'Vtion of Christ. 

how couldest thou dare even once complain ? 
Should not rill toils be borne for everlasting life? 
It is no small matter, 
to lose or gain the kingdom of God. 

Lift up therefore thy face to heaven : 
behold, 

I and all my saints with me ; 
who in this world have had a great conflict. 
Now rejoice, 
are now comforted : 
are now secure are now at rest : 

and they shall for all eternity abide with nie in the kingdom of my 

[Father. 



Chapter XLVIII.— Of the Day of ETEiiNiTV and of the 
Troubles of this Life. 

I. O most blessed mansion of the city above. 
O most bright day of eternity : 
which no night darkens ; 
but which the supreme truth ever enlightens : 
day always glad always secure ; 
and never changing its state for the contrary. 
()h would that day had shone upon us ; 

and that all these temporal things had come to an end. [ness ; 

It shines indeed upon the saints resplendent with everlasting bright- 
but upon us pilgrims on earth only as afar otf and through a glass. 
The citizens of heaven know how full of joy is that day ; 
but the banished children of Eve bewail themselves that this our day 

The days of this life are short and evil : [is bitter and wearisome. 
full of sorrows and miseries ; 
where man is defiled with many sins, 
ensnared with many passions : 
racked with many fears, 
disquieted with many cares ; 
distracted with many curiosities, 

( 313 ) 



De Imitatioxe Christi. Lif. III. Cap. XLVIII. 

multis vanitatibus implicatur : 

multis erroribus circuinfunditur, 

multis laboribus atteritur tentationibus gravatur ; 

deliciis enervatur, 

egestate cruciatur. 

O quando finis horum malorum : 
quando liberabor a misera sen-itute vitiorum ? 
Quando memorabor Domine tui solius : 
quando ad plenum laetabor in te ? 
Quando ero sine omni impedimento, 
in vera libertate sine omni gravamine mentis et corporis .'' 
Quando erit pax solida pax imperturbabilis et secura : 
pax intus et foris, 
pax ex omni parte fiima ? 
Jesu bone quando stabd ad videndum te, 
quando contemplabor gloriam regni tui : 
quando eris mihi omnia in omnibus ? 
O quando ero tecum in regno tuo : 
quod praeparasti dilectis tuis ab aeterno ? 

Relictus sum pauper et exsul in terra hostili ; 
ubi bella quotidiana. 
et infortunia maxima. 

II. Consolare exsilium meum : 
mitiga dolorem meum : 
quia ad te suspirat omne desiderium meum. 
Nam onus mihi totum est ; 
quidquid hie mundus offert ad solatium. 

Desidero te intime frui ; 
sed nequeo apprehendere. 
Opto inhaerere caelestibus : 

sed deprimunt res temporales et immortificatae passiones. 
Mente omnibus rebus superesse volo ; 
came autem in\ite subesse cogor. 
Sic ego homo infelix mecum pugno : 
et factus sum mihimet ipsi gravis ; 
dum soiritus sursum et caro quaerit esse deorsum. 

( 314 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLVIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

entangled with many vanities : 

encompassed with many errors, 

worn down with many labours burthened with temptations ; 

unmanned with delights, 

tormented with want. 

Oh when will there be an end of these evils : 
when shall I be set free from the wretched bondage of m}' faults ? 
When O Lord shall I make mention of thee alone : 
when shall I to the full rejoice in thee? 
When shall I be without any hindrance, 
in true liberty without any trouble of mind or body? 
When shall there be solid peace peace unruffled always secure : 
peace within and without, 
peace on all sides firm ? 
Good Jesus when shall I stand to see thee, 
when shall I contemplate the glory of thy kingdom : 
when wilt thou be all in all to me ? 
Oh when shall I be with thee in thy kingdom : 
which thou hast prepared for thy beloved from all eternity? 

I am left a poor and banished man in the land of the enemy ; 
where are wars every day, 
and very great mischances. 

II. Console my exile ; 
soothe my sorrow ; 
for all my desire sighs to thee. 
And all is burthensome to me ; 
that this world offers for my solace. 

I long to enjoy thee in my inmost soul ; 
but I cannot lay hold on thee. 
1 desire to cleave to heavenly things : 

but the things of this life and my unmortified passions bear me 
With my mind I desire to be above all things ; [down, 

but with the flesh I am forced against my will to be subject to them. 
Thus unhappy man that I am I iight with myself: 
and am become a burthen to myself ; 
whilst the spirit seeks to be above and the flesh to be below. 

( 31S ^ 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLVIII. 

O quid iiitus patior dum mente caelestia iracto ; 

et mox carnalium turba occurrit oranti. 

Ueus meus ne elongeris a me ; 
neque declines in ira a servo tiio. 
Fulgura coruscationem tuam et dissipa eas ; 
emitte sagittas tuas et conturbentur omnes phantasiae inimici. 
Recollige sensus meos ad te ; 
fac me oblivisci omnium mundanorum : 
da cite abjicere et contemnere phantasmita vitiorum. 
Succurre mihi aeterna Veritas ; 
ut nulla me moveat vanitas : 
adveni caelestis suavitas ; 
et fugiat a facie tua omuis impuritas. 

Ignosce quoque mihi et misericorditer indulge : 
quoties praeter te aliud in oratione revolvo. 

Confiteor etenim vere ; 
quia valde distracte me habere consuevi. 
Nam ibi multoties non sum, 
ubi corporaliter sto aut sedeo : 
sed ibi magis suni ; 
quo cogitationibus feror. 
Ibi sum ubi cogitatio mea est; 
ibi est frequenter cogitatio mea, 
ubi est quod amo, 
hoc mihi cito occurrit ; 
quod naturaliter delectat aut ex usu placet. 
Unde tu Veritas aperte dixisti. 
Ubi enim est thesaurus tuus ; 
ibi est et cor tuum. 
Si caelum diligo ; 
libenter de caelestibus pcnso. 
Si mundum anio : 
mundi felicitatibus congaudeo ; 

ot de adversitatibus ejus tristor. ^ 

Si carnem diligo ; 

( 316 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLVIII. Ok tiil; Imitation of Christ. 

Oh what do I suffer within whilst in my mind I consider heavenly 

[things ; 
and presently a crowd of carnal thoughts interrupt nie while I pray. 

My God remove not thyself far from me ; 
and depart not in thy wrath from thy servant. 
Send forth thy lightning and scatter them : 

shoot out thine arrows and let all the phantoms of the enemy be 
Gather together again my senses to thee ; [put to flight, 

make me forget all worldly things ; 

give me the grace speedily to cast away and to despise all the foul 
Help me eternal Truth : [shapes of sin. 

that no vanity be my motive : 
come to me heavenly sweetness ; 
and let all impurity tiee before thy face. 

Pardon me also and forgive me in thy mercy : 
as often as I think of any thing else in prayer besides thee. 

For I confess truly ; 
that I have been wont to be greatly distracted. 
For oftentimes I am not there, 
where I am bodily standing or sitting : 
but am rather there ; 
where my thoughts carry me. 
There 1 am where my thought is ; 
and there oftentimes is my thought, 
where that is which I love, 
that thing readily comes to my mind ; 

which naturally delights me or which from habij is pleasing to me. 
For this reason thou O Truth hast plainly said. 
Where thy treasure is ; 
there is thy heart also. 
If I love hea\en ; 

I willingly think on heavenly things. 
If I love the world : 

I rejoice with the prosperity of the world ; 
and am troubled at its adversity. 
If I love the flesh ; 

( 317 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLIX. 

quae carnis sunt saepe imaginor. 

Si spiritum amo ; 

de spiritualibus cogitare delcctor. 

Quaecumque enim diligo : 

de his libenter loquor et audio ; 

atque talium imagines mecum ad domum repoito. 

Sed beatus ille homo, 
qui propter te Domine omnibus creaturis licentiamabeundi tribuit: 
qui naturae vim facit ; 

et concupiscentias carnis fervore spiritus crucifigit : 
ut serenata conscientia puram tibi orationem offerat ; 
dignusque sit angehcis interesse choris, 
omnibus terrenis foris et intus exclusis. 



Cap. XLIX.— De Desiderio Aeternae Vitae, et quanta 
SINT Certantibus Bona Promissa. 

I. Fili. 
Quum tibi desiderium aeternae beatitudinis desuper infundi sentis, 
et de tabernaculo corporis exire concupiscis, 

ut claritatem meam sine vicissitudinis umbra contemplari possis ; 
dilata cor tuum et omni desiderio banc sanctam inspirationem 
Redde amplissimas supernae bonitati gratias ; i^suscipe. 

quae tecum sic dignanter agit : 

clementer visitat ardenter excitat potenter sublevat ; 
ne proprio pondere ad terrena labaris. 
Neque enim hoc cogitatu tuo aut conatu accipis ; 

sed sola dignatione supernae gratiae et divini respectus : 
tiuatenus in virtutibus et majori humihtate proficias ; 
et ad futura certamina te praepares : 
mihique toto cordis affectu adhaerere : 
ac fervcnti voluntate studeas deservire. 

(3^3) 



1 



Book 111. Chap. XUX. Ok thk Imitatio.v of Christ. 

I often picture to myself the things of the tlesh. 

If I love the spirit ; 

I delight to think of spiritual things. 

For whatsoever things I love : 

of these I willingly speak and hear ; 

and carry home with me the images of them. 

But blessed is the man, 
who for thee O Lord gives all things created lea\e to depart : 
who does violence to his nature ; 

and through fervour of spirit crucifies the lusts of the flesh : 
that so with a calmed conscience he may olTer to thee pure prayer ; 
and may be worthy to be among the choirs of angels, 
all earthly things being shut out whether external or internal. 



Chapter XLIX.— Of the Desire of Eternal Life, and how 
Gre.\t Things are Promised to them that Strive. 

I. Son. [from above, 

When thou perceivest a yearning after eternal bliss poured into thee 
and that thou longest to go out from the tabernacle of the body, 
that thou mayest behold my glory without any shadow of change ; 
open wide thy heart and with all thy affection draw in this holy 
Render fullest thanks to the divine goodness ; [inspiration, 

which deals so condescendingly with thee : [raises thee up ; 

which mercifully visits thee ardently excites thee and powerfully 
that thou fall not by thine own weight down to things of earth. 
For it is not by thine own thought or endeavour that thou attainest 

[to this ; 
but only by the condescension of heavenly grace and divine regard : 
that thou mayest advance in virtues and greater humility ; 
and prepare thyself for future conflicts ; 

and labour with the whole affection of thy heart to cleave unto me : 
and to serve me with a fervent will. 

( 319 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. XLIX. 

II. Fili. 
Saepe ignis ardet ; 
sed sine fumo flamma non ascendit. 
Sic et aliquorum desideria ad caeleslia flagrant ; 
et tamen a tentatione carnalis affectus liberi non sunt. 
Idcirco nee omnino pure pro honore Dei agunt ; 
quod tarn desideranter ab eo petunt 

Tale est et tuum saepe desiderium ; 
quod insinuasti fore tarn importunum. 
Non enim est hoc purum et perfectum ; 
quod propria commoditate est infectum. 
Pete non quod tibi est delectabile et commodum : 
sed quod mihi est acceptabile atque hionorificum ; 
quia si recte judicas, 
nieam ordinationem tuo desiderio et omni desiderato praeferre 

Novi desiderium tuum ; fdebes ac sequi. 

et frequentes gemitus audivi. 
Jam velles esse in libertate gloriae filiorum Dei : 
jam te delectat domus aeterna et caelestis patria gaudio plena : 
sed nondum venit hora ista; 
sed est adliuc aliud tempus ; 

scilicet tempus belli tempus laboris et probationis. 
Optas summo repleri bono ; 
sed non potes hoc assequi modo. 
Ego sum ; 
exspecta me dicit Dominus donee venial regnum Dei. 

Probandus es adhuc in terris ; 
et in multis exercitandiis. 
Consolatio tibi interdum dabitur ; 
sed copiosa satietas non coneeditur. 
Confortare igitur et esto robustus : 
tarn in agendo quam in patiendo naturae contraria. 

Oportet te novum induere hominem ; 
et in alterum virum mutari. 
Oportet te saepe agere quod non vis ; 
et quod vis oportet relinquere. 

i 320 ) 



Book III. Chap. XLIX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

II. Son. 
The fire often glows ; 
but the flame ascends not without smoke. 
So also the desires of some are ablaze after heavenly things ; 
and yet they are not free from the temptation of carnal affection. 
Therefore they are not acting purely for the honour of God ; 
in asking of him so earnestly. 

And such is often thy desire ; 
which thou wouldest have me to believe will be so urgent. 
For that is not pure and perfect ; 
which bears some taint of self-interest. 
Ask not what is delightful and convenient for thee : 



fore any thing desired, 
thine own desire and be- 



but what is pleasing and honourable to me ; 

for if thou judgest rightly. 

thou oughtest to prefer and follow mine appointment rather than 

I know thy desire ; 
and I have heard thy many groanings. [of God : 

Thou wouldest already be in the glorious liberty of the children 
already thou dost delight in thine eternal home and in the heavenly 
but thine hour has not yet come: [country full of joy : 

rather is there yet another time ; 
a time of war and toil and trial. 
Thou wishest to be filled with the highest good : 
but thou canst not now attain it. 
It is I ; 
wait for me saith the Lord till the kingdom of God come. 

Thou must yet be tried upon earth ; 
and exercised in many things. 
Consolation will from time to time be given thee ; 
but to be fully satisfied shall not be granted thee. 
Take courage therefore and be strong ; 
as well in doing as in suffering things repugnant to nature. 

Thou must put on the new man ; 
and be changed into another man. y 

Thou must oftentimes do that which thou wiliest not ; 
and let alone that which thou wiliest. 

( 321 ) y 



De Imitatione Chkisti. Lib. Hi. Cap. XLIX. 

Quod aliis placet processum habebit ; 

quod tibi placet ultra non proliciet. 

Quod alii dicunt audietur ; 

quod tu dicis, 

pro nihilo computabitur. 

Petent alii et accipient : 

tu petes nee impetrabis. 

Erunt alii magni in ore hominum ; 

de te autem tacebitur. 

Aliis hoc vei illud committetur ; 

tu autem ad nihil utile judicaberis. 

Propter hoc natura quandoque conlristabitur ; 

et magnum, 

si silens portaveris. 

In his et similibus multis probari solet tidelis Domini servus; 

qualiter se abnegare et in omnibus frangere quiverit. 

Vix est aliquid tale in quo tantumdem mori indiges sicut videre 

[et paii quae voluntati tuae adversasunt ; 

maxime autem quum disconvenientia et quae minus utilia tibi 

[apparent fieri jubentur. 
Et quia non audes resistere altiori potestati sub dominio con- 

[stitutus : 
ideo durum tibi videtur ad nutum alterius ambuiare ; 
et omne proprium sentire omittere. 

Sed pensa fili horum fructum laborum, 
celerem finem atque praemium nimis magnum : 
et non habebis inde gravamen ; 
sed fortissimum patientiae tuae solamen. 

Nam et pro modica hac voluntate quam nunc sponte deseris ; 
habebis semper voluntatem tiiim in caelis. 
Ibi quippe invenies omne quod volueris, 
omne, 

quod desiderare poteris ; 
ibi aderil tibi totius facultas boni, 
sine timore amittendi. 

( 322 ) 



1500K III. Chap. XLIX. Of tiik Imitation of Christ. 

That which is pleasing to others will go forward ; 
that which thou wouldest liave will not succeed. 
That which others say will be hearkened to ; 
what thou sayest, 
will be esteemed as nought. 
Others will ask and will receive : 
thou wilt ask and not obtain. 
Others will be great in the mouths of men ; 
but none will speak of thee. 
Others will have this or that otYice ; 
but thou wilt be accounted fit for nothing. 
Nature will sometimes repine at this ; 
and it will be no small matter, 

if thou bear it with silence. [is wont to be tried ; 

In these and many such-like things the faithful servant of the Lord 

how far he has been able to renounce and break himself in all things. 

There is scarcely any one thing in which thou hast so much need 

rto die to thyself as in seeing and suffer- 
[ing tilings which are against thy will ; 
and especially when that is commanded which seems to thee in- 

[congruous and to little purpose. 
And because beir.g set under authority thou darest not resist the 

'higher power : 
therefore thou art apt to think it hard to walk at the beck of anotlier; 
and wholly give up thine own opinion. 

But weigh well my son the fruit of these labours, 
how quickly they will end and their exceeding great reward : 
and thou wilt not thence have trouble ; 
but a strong solace to thine endurance. 

For instead of this little will which now of thine own accord thou 
thou shalt for ever have thy will in heaven. [forsakest ; 

For there thou shalt find all that thou hast wished for, 
all, 

that thou canst desire ; 
there the wealth of all good will be thine, 
without fear of losing it. 

( 323 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. L. 

Ibi voluntas tua una semper mecum ; 

nil cupiet extraneum vel privatum. 

Ibi nullus resistet tibi, 

nemo de te conqueretur, 

nemo impediet, 

nihil obviabit : 

sed cuncta desiderata simul erunt praesentia ; 

totumque affectum tuum reficient et adimplebunt usque ad summum. 

Ibi reddam gloriam pro contumelia perpessa : 

pallium laudis pro moerore ; 

pro loco novissimo sedem regni in saecula. 

Ibi apparebit fructus obedientiae : 

gaudebit labor poenitentiae ; 

et humilis subjectio coronabitur gloriose. 

Nunc ergo inclina te humiliter sub omnium manibus ; 
nee sit tibi curae quis hoc dixerit vel jusserit ; 
sed hoc magnopere curato : 

ut sive praelatus sive junior aut aequalis aliquid a te exposcerit vel 
pro bono totum accipias ; [innuerit, 

et sincera voluntate studeas adimplere. 
Ouaerat alius hoc alius illud : 
glorietur ille in illo et iste in isto, 
laudeturque millies mille ; 
tu autem nee in isto nee in illo : 
sed in tui ipsius gaude contemptu ; 
et in mei solius beneplacito ac honore. 
Hoc optandum est tibi : 
ut sive per vitam sive per mortem Deus semper in te glorificetur. 



Cap. L.— Qualiter Homo Desolatus se debet in Manus 

Dei Offerre. 

I. Domine Deus sancte Pater sis nunc et in aeternum bene- 
quia sicut vis sic factum est ; [dictus : 

( 3^4) 



Book III. Chap. L. Ok the Imitation of Chkist. 

There thy will being always one with mine ; 

will desire nothing either out of thyself or in thyself. 

There no one will resist thee, 

no man will complain of thee, 

no man hinder, 

nothing stand in thy way : 

but all things thou desircst will be present there together ; 

and shall refresh thy whole affection and fill it to the full. 

There I will give thee glory for the affronts thou hast endured : 

the garment of praise for sorrow ; 

and for the lowest place a royal throne for all eternity. 

There will the fruit of obedience come forth : 

there will the toil of penance rejoice ; 

and humble subjection will be gloriously crowned. 

Now therefore bow down thyself humbly under the hands of all ; 
and heed not who it was that said or commanded this ; 
but let this be thy great care : 

that whether thy superior or inferior or equal demand any thing of 
thou take all in good part ; [thee or hint at any thing, 

and strive with a sincere will to perform it. 
Let one man seek this another that : 
let this man glory in this another in that, 
and be praised a thousand thousand times ; 
but thou for thy part rejoice neither in this nor in that : 
but in the contempt of thyself : 
and in my good pleasure and honour alone. 
This is what thou oughtest to wish : 
that whether in life or death God may be always glorified in thee. 



Chapter L.— How One that is Alone in the World ought 
TO Commit Himself into the Hands of Goo. 

I. O Lord God holy Father be thou now and for ever blessed : 
for as thou wiliest so has it been done ; 

( 325 ) 



Ue Imitatione Chkisti. Lib. III. Cap. L. 

et quod facis bonum est. 

Laetetur in te servus tuus : 

non in se nee in aliquo alio ; 

quia tu solus laetitia \era : 

tu spes mea et corona mea ; 

tu gaudium meum et honor meus Domine. 

Quid habet servus tuus : 

nisi quod a te accepit etiam sine merito suo? 

Tua sunt omnia quae dedisti, 

et quae fecisti. 

Pauper sum et in laboribus meis a juventute mea ; 
et contristatur anima mea nonnumquam usque ad lacrimas ; 
quandoque etiam conturbatur ad se propter imminentes passiones. 
Desidero pads gaudium : 
pacem filiorum tuorum flagito, 
qui in lumine consolationis a te pascuntur. 
Si das pacem, 

si gaudium sanctum infundis : 
erit anima servi tui plena modulatione ; 
et devota in laude tua. 

Sed si te subtraxeris sicut saepissime soles : 
non poterit currere viam mandatorum tuorum ; 
sed magis ad tundendum pectus genua ejus incurvantur : 
quia non est illi sicut heri et nudius tertius quando splendebat 

[lucerna tua super caput ejus ; 
et sub umbra alarum tuarum protegebatur a tentationibus irruenti- 

[bus. 

II. Pater juste et semper laudande ; 
venit hora ut probetur servus tuus. 
Pater amande ; 

dignum est ut hac hora patiatur pro te aliquid servus tuus. 
Pater perpetue venerande venit hora quam ab aeterno praesciebas 

[affuturam : 
ut ad modicum tempus succumbat foris servus tuus ; 
vivat vero semper apud te intus. 
Paululum vilipendatur : 
humilietur et deficiat coram hominibus ; 

( 326 ) 



Book HI. Chap. L. Of Tiit Imitation of Christ. 

and what thou dost is good. 

Let thy servant be glad in thee : 

not in himself nor in any other ; 

for thou alone art true joy : 

thou my hope and my crown ; 

thou my gladness and mine honour O Lord. 

What has thy servant : 

but what he has received from thee and this without any merit 

Thine are all things which thou hast given, [of his own ^ 

and which thou hast made. 

I am poor and in labours from my youth ; 
and my soul is sometimes saddened unto tears ; 
and sometimes is disturbed within herself by reason of sufferings at 
I long for the joy of peace : [hand. 

I beg again and again for the peace of thy children, 
who are fed by thee in the light of thy consoLition. 
If thou givest peace, 
if thou infusest holy joy : 

the soul of thy servant shall be full of melody ; 
and devout in thy praise. 

But if thou withdraw thyself as thou art very often wont: 
he will not be able to run in the way of thy commandments ; 
but rather his knees are bent for the smiting of his breast : 
because it is not with him as it was yesterday and the day before 

[when thy lamp shone over his head ; 
and he was covered under the shadow of thy wings from tempta- 

[tions coming on Hke a flood. 

IL Father just and always to be praised ; 
the hour is come for thy servant to be tried. 

Father worthy of all love : [thee 

it is fitting that thy servant should at this hour suffer something for 
Father always to be honoured the hour is come which thou 

[didst foresee from all eternity : 
that thy servant for a short time should be outwardly oppressed ; 
but inwardly live always to thee. 
That he should be a little slighted : 
and humiliated and should seem wanting in the sight of men ; 

( 327 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. I,. 

passionibus conteratur et languoribus : 

ut iterum tecum in aurora novae lucis resui gat ; 

et in caelestibus clarificetur. 

Pater sancte : 
tu sic ordinasti et sic voluisti ; 
et hoc factum est quod ipse praecepisti. 
Haec est enim gratia ad amicum tuum : 
pati et tribulari in mundo pro amore tuo ; 
quotiescumque et a quocumque id permiseris fieri. 
Sine consilio et providentia tua ; 
et sine causa nihil fit in terra. 

Bonum mihi Domine quod humiliasti me ut discam justificationes 
et omnes elationes cordis atque praesumptiones abjiciam. [tuas ; 
Utile mihi quod confusio cooperuit faciem meam ; 
ut te potius quam homines ad consolandum requiram. 
Didici etiam ex hoc inscrutabile judicium tuum expavescere : 
qui affligis justum cum impio ; 
sed non sine aequitate et justitia. 

Gratias tibi quia non pepercisti malis meis : 
sed attrivisti me verberibus amaris ; 
infligens dolores et immittens angustias foris et intus. 
Non est qui me consoletur ex omnibus quae sub caelo sunt ; 
nisi tu Domine Deus meus caelestis rnedicus animarum : 
qui percutis et sanas ; 
deducis ad inferos et reducis. 
Disciplina tua super me ; 
et virga tua ipsa me docebit. 

Ecce Pater dilecte in manibus tuis sum ego ; 
sub virga correctionis tuae me inclino : 
percute dorsum meum et collum meum : 
ut incurvem ad voluntatem tuam tortuositatem meam. 
Fac me pium et humilem discipulum sicut bene facere consuevisti ; 
ut ambulem ad omnem nutum tuum. 
Tibi me et omnia mea ad corrigendum commendo : 
melius est hie corripi quam in futuro. 

Tu scis omnia et singula ; 

(328 ) 



Book 111. Chap. L. Of the 1. nutation ok Chkist. 

that he should be severely afflicted with sufferings and weaknesses : 
that so he may rise again with thee in the dawn of a new light ; 
and be glorified in heaven. 

Holy Father : 
this hast thou appointed and so hast thou willed ; 
and that has come to pass which thou hast ordained. 
For this is a favour to thy friend : [thee ; 

that he should suiter and be afflicted in this world for the love of 
how often soever and by whomsoever thou permittest it to befall 
Without thy counsel and providence ; [him. 

and without cause nothing is done upon earth. [thy statutes; 

It is good for me Lord that thou hast humiliated me that I may learn 
and that I may cast away all uplifting of heart and all presumption. 
It is useful for me that shame has covered my face ; 
that I may seek for comfort to thee rather than to men. 
I have also learned thereby to dread thine inscrutable judgments : 
who dost afflict the just together with the wicked ; 
but not without equity and justice. 

Thanks be to thee that thou hast not spared my sins : 
but hast worn me down with bitter stripes ; 
inflicting pains and sending distress both within and without. 
Of all under heaven there is none that can comfort me ; 
but thou O Lord my God the heavenly physician of souls : 
who smitest and dost heal ; 
leadest down to hell and bringest up again. 
Thy chastisement is on me ; 
and thy rod itself shall teach me. 

Behold dear Father I am in thy hands ; 
I bow myself down under the rod of thy correction : 
smite thou my back and my neck ; 
that I may bend my crookedness to thy will. 

Make me a pious and humble disciple of thine as thou wert wont 
that I may walk at thine every sign. [well to do ; 

To thee I commit myself and all that is mine to be corrected : 
it is better to be chastised here than hereafter. 

Thou knowest all things and each thing ; 

( 329 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lir. III. Cap. I.I. 

et nil te latet in humana conscientia. 
Antequam fiant nosti ventuia ; 

et non opus est tibi ut quis te doceat aut admoneat de his quae 

[geruntur in terra. 
Tu scis quid expedit ad profectum nieum ; 

et quantum deservit tribulatio ad rubiginem vitiorum purgandam. 
Fac mecum desideratum beneplacitum tuum : 
et ne despicias peccaminosam vitam meam ; 
nulli melius nee clarius quam tibi soli notam. 

Da mihi Domine scire quod sciendum est, 
hoc amare quod amandum est ; 
hoc laudare quod tibi summe placet : 
hoc reputare quod tibi pretiosum apparet ; 
hoc vituperare quod oculis tuis sordescit. 

Non me sinas secundum visionem oculorum exteriorum judicare : 
neque secundum auditum aurium hominum imperitorum senten- 

[tiare : 
sed in judicio vero de visibilibus et spiritualibus discernere : 

atque super omnia voluntatem beneplacili tui semper inquirere. 

Falluntur saepe hominum sensus in judicando ; 

falluntur et amatores saeculi visibilia tantummodo amando. 

Quid est homo inde melior : 

quia reputatur ab homine major? 

Fallax fallacem, 

vanus vanum caecus caecum infirmus infirmum decipit dum exaltat ; 

et veraciter magis confundit dum inaniter laudat. 

Nam quantum unusquisque est in oculis tuis, 

tantum est et non amplius ; 

ait humilis sanctus Franciscus. 



Cap. LI.— Quod Humilihus Insistendum est Operibus 

QUUM DEFICITUR A SUMMIS. 

I. Fili non vales semper in ferventiori desiderio virtutum stare ; 

( 330 ~> 



Book III. Chap. LI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and there is nothing in the conscience of man hidden from thee. 
Thou knowest things to come before they are done ; 
nor hast thou need that any should teach thee or remind thee of 

[the things that are done upon earth. 
Thou knowest what is expedient for my progress ; 
and how serviceable tribulation is to rub away the rust of sin. 
Do with me according to thy good pleasure which I have desired : 
and despise not my sinful life ; 
to no one better or more clearly known than to thee alone. 

Grant me O Lord to know what I ought to know, 
to love what I ought to love ; 
to praise what is most pleasing to thee : 
to esteem what is precious in thy sight ; 
to despise what is vile in thine eyes. 

Suffer me not to judge according to the sight of the outward eyes : 
nor to pronounce according to the hearing of the ears of inex- 

[perienced men : 
but to determine both the things that are seen and spiritual things 

[with true judgment : 
and above all things ever to seek thy good will and pleasure. 
The minds of men are often deceived in judging: 
and the lovers of this world are deceived in loving visible things 
What is a man the better : [alone. 

for being reputed greater by man ? 

The cheat deceives the cheat, [they extol them ; 

the vain the vain the blind the blind the weak the weak whilst 
and in truth one rather puts another to confusion whilst he vainly 
For how much each one is in thine eyes, [praises him. 

so much he is and no more : 
says the humble Saint Francis. 



Chapter LI. —That We must Exercise Ourselves in 
Humble Works when We cannot Attain to High Things. 

L Son thou canst not always continue in a more than usually 

[fervent desire of goodness ; 

( 331 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LII. 

nee in altiori gradu contemplationis consist ere : 
sed necesse habes interdum ob originalem corruptelam ad inferiora 

[descendere ; 
et onus corruptibilis vitae etiam invite et cum taedio ponare 

Quamdiu mortale corpus geris ; 

taedium senties et gravamen cordis. 

Oportet ergo saepe in carne de carnis onere gemere ; 

eo quod non vales spiritualibus studiis et divinae contemplation i 

indesinenter inhaerere. 
II. Tunc expedit tibi r.d humilia et exteriora opera confugere; 

et in bonis actibus te recreare ; 

adventum meum et supernam visitationem firma confidentia ex- 

exsilium tuum et ariditatem mentis patienter sufferre : [spectare ; 

donee iterum a me visiteris ; 

et ab omnibus anxietatibus libereris. 

Nam faciam te laborum oblivisci, 

et interna quiete perfrui : 

expandam coram te prata scripturarum ; 

ut dilatato corde currere incipias viam mandatorum meorum. 

Et dices. 

Non sunt condignae passiones hujus temporis ; 

ad futuram gloriam quae revelabitur in nobis. 



Cap. LII.— Quod Homo non Reputet se Consolatione 

DiGNUM SED MaGIS VeRBERIBUS REUM. 

I. Domine non sum dignus consolatione tua ; 
nee aliqua spirituali visitatione. 
Et ideo juste meeum agis ; 
quando me inopem etdesolatum relinquis. 
Si enimad instar maris lacrimas fundere possem ; 

( 332 ) 



Book III. Chap. LII. Of the Imitation of Chkist. 

nor stand in a degree of contemplation higher than thy wont : 
but it must needs be that thou shouldest from time to time descend 
[to lower things by reason of original corruption ; 
and shouldest even unwillingly and wearily bear the burden of this 

[corruptible life. 
As long as thou earnest about with thee a mortal body ; 
thou shalt feel weariness and heaviness of heart. 
Thou oughtest therefore as long as thou art in the flesh often- 

[times to bewail the burden of the flesh ; 
for that thou canst not without intermission engage in spiritual 

[exercises and divine contemplation. 
II. At these times it is expedient for thee to betake thyself to 

[lowly works in the outer world ; 
and to recreate thyself in good actions ; 

to look for my coming and my heavenly visitation with firm hope; 
to bear with patience thy banishment and the dryness of thy mind : 
till thou be visited again by me ; 
and delivered from all disquiet. 
For 1 will make thee forget thy toils, 
and enjoy inward rest : 

I will spread before thee the pleasant fields of the Scriptures ; 
that with enlarged heart thou mayest begin to run in the way of my 
And thou shalt say. [commandments. 

That the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be com- 
with the glory to come which shall be revealed in us. [pared ; 



Chapter LII.— That a Man ought not to Esteem him- 
self Worthy of Consolation, but rather Deserving 
OF Stripes. 

I. Lord I am not worthy of thy consolation ; 
nor of any spiritual visitation. 
And therefore thou dealest justly with me ; 
when thou leavest me poor and desolate. 
For if I could shed tears as the sea ; 

( 333 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LII. 

adhuc consolatione tua dignus non essem. 

Unde nihil dignus sum quam flagellari et puniri : 

quia graviter et saepe te offendi ; 

et in multis v^alde deliqui. 

Ergo vera pensata ratione; 

nee minima sum dignus consolatione. 

Sed tu Clemens et misericors Deus qui non vis pcrire opera tua 

I ad ostendendum divitias bonitatis 
tuae in vasa misericordiae, 
etiam praeter omne proprium sTieritum dignaris consolari servum 
Tuae enim consolationes ; [tuum supra humanum modum. 

non sunt sicut humanae confabulationes. 

Ouidegi Domine : 
ut mihi conferres aliquam caelestem consolationem? 
Ego, nihil boni me egisse recolo : 
sed semper ad vitia pronum ; 
et ad emendationem pigrum fuisse. 
Verum est ; 
et negare non possum. 
Si aliter dicerem, 
tu stares contra me ; 
et non esset qui defenderet. 
Quid merui pro peccatis meis : 
nisi infernum et ignem aeternum.' 

In veritate confiteor quoniam dignus sum omni ludibrio et contemptu ; 
nee decet me inter tuos devotos commemorari. 
Et licet hoc aegre audiam : 

tamen adversum me pro veritate peccata mea arguam ; 
ut facilius misericordiam tuam merear impetrare. 
Quid dicam reus, 
et omni confusione plenus? 
Non habeo os loquendi nisi hoc tantum verbum : 
peccavi Domine peccavi ; 
miserere mei, 
ignosce mihi. 

Sine me paululum ut plangam dolorem meum ; 
antcquam vadam ad terram tenebrosam et opertam mortis caligine. 

( 334 ) 



Book III. Chap. LII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

yet should I not be worthy of thy consolation. 
Wherefore 1 am worthy only to be scourged and punished : 
because I have grievously and often offended thee ; 
and in many things greatly sinned. 
So then on a true account ; 

I have not deserved even the smallest consolation. 
But thou good and merciful God who wiliest not that thy works 

[should perish to show the riches of thy good- 
ness towards the vessels of mercy, 
vouchsafesi to comfort thy servant above human measure and 
For thy consolations; [beyond all his deserts, 

are not like the converse of men. 

What have 1 done O Lord : 
that thou shouldest bestow on me any heavenly consolation ? 
I can not recall to mind aught of good that I have done : 
but that I have been always prone to vice ; 
and slothful to amend. 
It is true : 

and 1 cannot deny it. 
If I should say otherwise, 
thou wouldest stand against me ; 
and there would be none to defend me. 
What have I deserved for my sins : 
save hell and the tire eternal ? 

In truth I confess that I am worthy of all scorn and contempt ; 
neither is it fitting that I should be named among thy devout 
And though it goes against me to hear this: [servants, 

because of truth 1 will confess against myself my sins ; 
that so I may the easier deserve to obtain thy mercy. 
What shall I say who am guilty, 
and full of all confusion? 

I have no tongue to speak aught but this one word : 
I have sinned O Lord I have sinned ; 
have mercy on me, 
and pardon me. 

Suffer me therefore that I may lament my sorrow a little ; [death, 
before I go to the land that is dark and covered with the mist of 

( 335 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LIII. 

II. Quid tam maxime a reo et misero peccatore requiris : 

nisi ut conteratur et humiliet se prodelictis suis? 

In vera contritione et cordis humiliatione nascitur spes veniae : 

reconciliatur perturbata conscientia ; 

reparatur gratia perdita : 

tuetur homo a futura ira ; 

et occurrunt sibi mutuo in osculo sancto Deus et poenitens anima. 

Humilis peccatorum contritio, 

acceptabile tibi est Domine sacrificium : 

longe suavius odorans in conspectu tuo quam thuris incensum. 

Haec est gratum etiam unguentum quod sacris pedibus tuis infundi 

[voluisti ; 
quia cor contritum et humiliatum numquam despe.xisti. 

Ibi est locus refugii a facie irae inimici : 

ibi emendatur et abluitur ; 

quidquid aliunde contractum est et inquinatum. 



Cap. LIII.— Quod Gratia Dei non Miscetur Terrena 

Sapientibus. 

I. Fill. 
Pretiosa est gratia mea ; 
non patitur se misceri extraneis rebus, 
nee consolationibus terrenis. 

Abjicere ergo oportet omnia impedimenta gratiae ; 
si optas ejus infusionem suscipere. 

Pete secretum tibi : 
ama solus habitare tecum ; 
nullius require confabulationem : 
sed magis ad Deum devolam etfunde preccm ; 
ut compunctam teneas mentem et puram conscientiam. 
Totum mundum nihil aestii:ia ; 
Dei vacationem omnibus exterioribus antepone. 
Non enim poteris mihi vacare ; 
et in transitoriis pariter delectari. 

( 336 ) 



Book III. Chap. LIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

II. Whatdost thouchienyrequireofaguiltyandwretchedsinner : 
but that he should feel contrition and humble himself for his sins? 
Of true contrition and humility of heart is born the hope of pardon : 
the disquieted conscience is reconciled ; 
grace which was lost is recovered : 
a man is kept from the wrath to come ; 
and God and the penitent soul meet together in a holy kiss. 
Humble contrition for sins, 
is an acceptable sacrifice to thee O Lord ; 
of far sweeter odour before thee than the smoke of incense. 
This is also that pleasing ointment which thou didst will should be 

[poured upon thy sacred feet ; 
for never hast thou despised a contrite and humble heart. 
There is a place of refuge from the face of the wrath of the enemy : 
there is effaced and washed away ; 
whatever stain has been elsewhere contracted. 



Chapter LIII.— That the Grace of God Unites not with 

THOSE WHO HAVE A RELISH FOR EARTHLY THINGS. 

I. Son 
My grace is precious ; 

it suffers not itself to be mingled with outward things, 
or earthly consolations. 

Thou must therefore cast away every obstacle to grace ; 
if thou desire to be ready for the inpouring of it. 

Choose a secret place for thyself: 
love to dwell with thyself alone ; 
seek not the talking with any one : 
but rather pour out thy devout prayer to God ; 
that thou mayest keep thy mind in compunction and thy conscience 
Esteem the whole world as nothing ; [pure, 

prefer the giving thy time to God before all external things. 
For thou canst not have leisure both for me ; 
and at the same time delight thyself in transitory things. 

( 337 ) Z 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LIII. 

A notis et a caris oportet elongari ; 

et ab omni temporali solatio mentem tenere privatam. 

Sic obsecrat beatus apostolus Petrus ; [Christi fideles. 

ut tamquam advenas et peregrines in hoc mundo se contineant 

O quanta fiducia erit morituro ; 
quern nullius rei affectus detinet in mundo. 
Sed sic segregatum cor habere ab omnibus ; 
aeger necdum capit animus ; 

nee animalis homo novit interni hominis libertatem. 
Attamen si vere velit esse spiritualis : 
oportet eum renuntiare tarn remotis quam propinquis ; 
et a nemine magis cavere quam a se ipso. 
Si temet ipsum perfecte viceris ; 
cetera facilius subjugabis. 
Perfecta victoria est ; 
de semet ipso triumphare. 
Qui enim semet ipsum subjectum tenet, 
ut sensualitas rationi, 
et ratio in cunctis obediat mihi ; 
hie vere victor est sui et dominus mundi. 

II. Si ad hunc apicem scandere gliscis : 
oportet viriliter incipere et securim ad radicem ponere ; 
ut evellas et destruas occultam inordinatam inclinationem nd te 
[ipsum et ad omne privatum et materiale bonum. 

Ex hoc vitio quod homo semet ipsum nimis inordinate diligit ; 
paene totum pendet, 
quidquid radicahter vincendum est. 

Quo devicto et subacto malo pax magna et tranquillitas erit con- 
Sed quia pauci sibi ipsis perfecte mori laborant, [tinuo. 

nee plene extra se tendunt : 
propterea in se implicati remanent ; 
nee supra se in spiritu elevari possunt. 

Qui autem Hbere mecum ambulare desiderat : 
necesse est ut omnes pravas et inordinatas affectiones suas morti- 
atquenulh creaturaeprivato amore concupiscenter inhaereat. [fleet; 

( 338 ) 



Book III. Chap. LIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

Thou must be far removed from thine acquaintance and from those 

[that are dear to thee : 
and keep thy mind to thyself away from all temporal solace. 
So the blessed apostle Peter beseeches ; [in this world, 

the faithful of Christ to keep themselves as strangers and piltjrims 
Oh what great confidence will he have at the hour of his death ; 
who is not detained by an affection to any thing in the world. 
But the having a heart thus perfectly set apart from all things ; 
is more than the disordered mind can as yet understand ; 
neither does the natural man recognize the liberty of the interior 
But if he will be spiritual indeed : [man. 

he must renounce those who are near him as well as those who are 
and beware of none more than of himself. [afar off ; 

If thou hast perfectly overcome thyself; 
thou wilt with more ease subdue all things else. 
The perfect victory is ; 
to triumph over self. 

For he who keeps himself in subjection, 
so that his appetite is subject to reason, 
and his reason in all things obedient to me ; 
he is indeed a conqueror to himself and lord of the world. 

II. If thou wouldest fain mount thus high : 
thou must begin manfully and lay the axe to the root ; 
that thou mayest pluck up and destroy thy secret inordinate inclina- 
[tion to thyself and to all selfish and material goods. 

On this defect that a man inordinately loves himself; 
hangs almost all in thee, fpeace and tranquillity, 

thou hast to root out and overcome. [soon will there be great 

And when this evil has been once conquered and brought under 
But because there are few who labour to die perfectly to themselves, 
and who fully tend beyond themselves : 
therefore do they remain entangled in themselves ; 
nor can they be lifted in spirit above themselves. 

But he who desires to walk with me at liberty : 
must mortify all his evil and inordinate affections ; 
and must not from selfish love cling longingly to any thing created. 

( 339 ) 



Ue Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LIV. 



Cap. LIV.— De Diversis MoTiiius Naturae et GRAirAE. 

I. Fill diligenter adverte niotus naturae et gratiae : 
quia valde contrarie et subtiliter moventur ; 

et vix, 

nisi a spirituali et intimo illuminato homine discernuntur. 

Omnes quidem bonum appetunt : 

et aliquid boni in suis dictis vel factis praetendunt ; 

ideo sub specie boui multi falluntur. 

II. Natura callida est et muitos trahit illaqueat et decipit ; 
et se semper pro fine habet : 

sed gratia simpliciter ambulat, 
ab omni specie mala declinat, 
fallacias non praetendit ; 
et omnia pure propter Deum agit, 
in quo et finaliter requiescit. 

Natura invite vult mori nee premi nee supcrari ; 
nee subesse nee sponte subjugari : 
gratia vero studet mortifieationi propriae; 
resistit sensualitati, 
quaerit subjici : 
appetit vinei, 

nee propria vult libertate fungi ; 
sub disciplina amat teneri, 
nee alieui eupit dominari : 

sed sub Deo semper vivere. _ 

stare et esse ; ^ 

atque propter Deum omni humanae creaturae humiliter paraia est 

[inclinari. 
Natura pro suo eommodo laborat , 
et quid lucri ex alio sibi proveniat attendit : 
gratia autem non quid sibi utile et commodosum sit, 
sed quod multis proficiat magis considerat. 

( 340 .) 



Book III. Chai'. LIV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter LIV.— Of the Different Motions of Nature 

AND Grace. 

I. Son observe diligently the motions of nature and of grace ; 
for they move in very opposite ways and very subtly ; 

and can scarcely, 

be distinguished but by him who is spiritual and in his inmost 
All men indeed yearn after good : [heart enlightened, 

and pretend to something of good in all they do and say ; 
therefore under the semblance of good many are deceived. 

II. Nature is crafty and draws ensnares and deceives many ; 
and has always itself for its end : 

but grace walks with simplicity, 
declines from all appearance of evil, 
spreads no deceits ; 
and does all things purely for God, 
in whom also as her last end she rests. 

Nature is not willing to die or to be restrained to be overcome ; 
or to be made subject neither will she of her own accord be brought 
but grace studies the mortification of self; [under: 

resists sensuality, 
seeks to be subjected : 
desires to be overcome, 
is not bent on using her own liberty ; 
loves to be held under discipline, 
and desires not to have the command over any one : 
but under God ever to live, 
stand and be ; 

and for the sake of God is ever ready to bow herself doun humbly 

[under all human creatures. 

Nature labours for her own advantage ; 
and considers what gain may reach her from another : 
but grace considers not what may be useful and of advantage to 
but rather what may be profitable to many. [herself, 

( 341 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lia III. Cap. LIV. 

Natura libenter honorem et reverentiam accipit : 
gratia vero omnem honorem et gloriam Deo fideliter attribuit. 

Natura confusionem timet et contemptum ; 
gratia autem gaudet pro nomine Jesu pati contumeliam. 

Natura otium amat et quietem corporalem : 
gratia vero vacua esse non potest ; 
sed libenter amplectitur laborem. 

Natura quaerit habere curiosa et pulchra ; 
abhorret vilia et grossa : 

gratia vei^o simplicibus delectatur et humihbus: 
aspera non aspernatur, 
nee vetustis refugit indui pannis, 

Natura respicit temporaUa, 
gaudet ad lucra tenena ; 
tristatur de damno, 
irritatur levi injuriae verbo : 
sed gratia attendit aeterna, 
non inhaeret temporahbus, 
nee in perditione rerum turbatur. 
neque verbis durioribus acerbatur ; 
quia thesaurum suum et gaudium in caelo ubi nil perit constituit. 

Natura cupida est et hbentius accipit quam donat ; 
amat propria et privata : 
gratia autem pia est et communis ; 
vitat singularia contentatur paucis, 
beatius dare judicat quam accipere. 

Natura inclinat ad creaturas ad carnem propriam, 
ad vanitates et discursus : 
sed gratia trahit ad Deum et ad virtutes ; 
renunciat creaturis fugit mundum ; 
odit carnis desideria, 
restringit evagationes ; 
erubescit in publico apparere. 

Natura libenter aliquod solatium habet externum in quo delecte- 
sed gratia in solo Deo quaerit consolari ; [tur ad sensum : 

et in summo bono super omnia visibilia delectari, 

Natura totum agit propter lucrum et commodum proprium ; 

( 342 ) 



Book III. Chap. LIV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

Nature willingly receives honour and respect ; 
but grace faithfully ascribes all honourand glory to God. 

Nature is afraid of shame and of contempt ; 
but grace rejoices to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. 

Nature loves ease and bodily rest : 
but grace cannot be unemployed ; 
and gladly embraces toil. 

Nature seeks to have things which are curious and fine ; 
and abhors things which are cheap and coarse : 
but grace is pleased with that which is plain and humble ; 
disdains not rough things, 
nor shrinks from being clad in old clothes. 

Nature has regard to temporal things, 
rejoices at earthly gain ; 
is troubled at losses, 

and is provoked at every slight injurious word : 
but grace looks intently on things eternal, 
and cleaves not to those which pass with time, 
neither is she disturbed at the loss of goods, 
nor exasperated with hard words ; 
for she has placed her treasure and her joy in heaven where nothing 

Nature is covetous and more gladly receives than gives ; [is lost, 
she loves to have things for her own and to herself : 
but grace is compassionate and open-hearted ; 
avoids self-interest is contented with little, 
and judges it more blessed to give than to receive. 

Nature inclines to creatures to the flesh which is its own, 
to vanities and runnings to and fro : 
but grace draws to God and to viitue ; 
renounces creatures flies the world : 
hates the desires of the flesh, 
restricts all gadding abroad ; 
and blushes to appear in public. [sensible delight: 

Nature gladly has some outward solace in which it may take a 
but grace seeks to be comforted in God alone ; [that are seen, 

and to find delight in the Sovereign Good above all the things 

Nature acts wholly for her own gain and advantage : 

( 343 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LIV. 

nihil gratis facere potest : 

sed aut aequale aut melius, 

aut laudem vel favorem pro benefactis consequi sperat ; 

et multum ponderari sua gesta et dona et dicta concupiscit : 

gratia vero nil temporale quaerit ; 

nee aliud praemium quam Deum solum pro mercede postulat : 

nee amplius de temporalibus necessariis desiderat ; 

nisi quantum haec sibi ad assecutionem aeternorum valeant deser- 

Natura gaudet de amicis multis et propinquis : [vire. 

gloriatur de nobili loco et ortu generis j 
arridet potentibus, 
blanditur divitibus, 
applaudit sibi simiiibus : 
gratia autem et inimicos diligit, 
nee de amicorum turba extollitur ; 

nee locum nee ortum natalium reputat nisi virtus major ibi fuerit : 
favet magis pauperi quam diviti, 
eompatitur plus innoeenti quam potenti ; 
eongaudet veraci non fallaei : 

exhortatur semper bonos meliora charismata aemulari : 
et Filio Dei per virtutes assimilari. 

Xatura de defectu et molestia cito eonqueritur; 
gratia constanter fert inopiam. 

Natura omnia ad se reflectit : 
pro se certat et arguit : 

gratia autem ad Deum cuncta reducit unde originaliter emanant : 
nihil boni sibi adseribit nee arroganter praesumit : 
non contendit nee suam sententiam aliis praefert ; 
sed in omni sensu et intellectu aeternae sapientiae ac divino ex- 

[amini se submittit. 

Natura appetit scire secreta et nova audire : 
vult exterius apparere et multa per sensus experiri ; 
desiderat agnosci et agere unde laus et admiratio procedit : 

sed gratia non curat nova nee curiosa percipere, 
quia totum hoc de vetustate corruptionis est ortum ; 

( 344 ) 



Book III. Chap. LIV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

she can do nothing without price : 

but hopes to get something equal or better, 

or praise or favour for her kindnesses ; 

and longs to have her deeds and gifts and words much valued : 

but grace seeks nothing temporal ; 

nor requires in payment any other recompense than God alone : 

nor desires more of the necessaries of this life ; 

than so much as may help her to obtain the things eternal. 

Nature rejoices in a multitude of friends and kindred: 
she glories in the nobility of her stock and descent ; 
she fawns on those in power, 
flatters the rich, 

and applauds those who are like herself : 
but grace loves even her enemies, 
and is not putTed up with having a crowd of friends ; 
nor sets she any store by family or birth unless when joined with 
she favours rather the poor than the rich, [gi-eater virtue : 

her sympathy is with the innocent rather than the powerful ; 
she rejoices with the trutliful and not with the deceitful : 
she ever exhorts the good to be zealous for the better gifts ; 
and to be made like to the Son of God by virtues. 

Nature soon complains of want and inconvenience; 
but grace bears poverty with constancy. 

Nature turns all things back to herself: 
and for herself she labours and disputes : [all things flow ; 

but grace leads all things back to God from whom as their source 
she ascribes no good to herself nor does she arrogantly presume of 
she strives not nor prefers her own opinion to others ; [herself: 
but submits her own mind and judgment to the eternal wisdom 

[and to the divine testing. 

Nature covets to know secrets and to hear news : [senses ; 

likes to be seen abroad and to make trial of many things by the 
longs to be noticed and to do such things as may procure praise 

[and admiration : 
but grace cares not for the hearing of new and curious things, 
for all this springs from the old corruption ; 

( 345 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LV. 

quum nihil novum et durabile sit super terram. 

Docet itaque sensus restrin^ere, 

vanam complacentiam et ostentationem devitare : 

laudanda et digne miranda humiliter abscondere : 

et de omni re et in omni scientia utilitatis fructum, 

atque Dei laudem et honorem quaerere. 

Non vult se nee sua praedicari : 

sed Deum in donis suis optat benedici; 

qui cuncta ex mera caritate largitur. 

[donum est ; 
III. Haec gratia supernaturale lumen et quoddam Dei speciale 
et proprie electorum signaculum et pignus salutis aeternae : 
quae hominem de terienis ad caelestia amanda sustoUit ; 
et de carnali spiritualem efficit. 

Quanto igitur natura amplius premitur et vincitur : 
tanto major gratia infunditur ; 

et quotidie novis visitationibus interior homo secundum imaginem 

[Dei reformatur. 



Cap. LV.— De Corruptione Naturae et Efficacia Gratiae 

DiVINAE. 

I. Domine Deus meus qui me creasti ad imaginem et similitu- 

[dinem tuam : 
concede mihi hanc gratiam quam ostendisti tam magnam et 

[necessariam ad salutem ; 
ut vincam pessimam naturam meam trahentem ad peccata et in 

[perditionem. 
Sentio enim in came mea legem peccati contradicentem legi mentis 

[meae et captivum me ducentem ad 
obediendum sensualitati in multis : 
nee possum resistere passionibus ejus ; 
nisi assistat tua sanctissima gratia cordi meo ardenter infusa. 

Opus est gratia tua et magna gratia, 

( 346 ) 



Book III. Chap. LV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

since nothing is new or lasting upon earth. 
She teaches therefore to restrain the senses, 

to avoid vain complacency and ostentation : [admiration ; 

humbly to hide those things which are worthy of praise and 
and from every thing and in every science to seek the fruit of 
and the praise and honour of God. [usefulness, 

She desires not to have herself or what belongs to her extolled : 
but wishes that God may be blessed in his gifts ; 
who bestows all things of his mere love. 

[gift of God ; 

III. This grace is a supernatural light and a certain special 
the proper mark of the elect and the pledj^e of eternal salvation : 
which elevates a man from the things of the earth to the love of 
and makes him spiritual who was carnal. [heavenly things ; 

Wherefore the more nature is kept down and subdued : 
the greater is the grace that is infused ; 

and the spiritual -man by new visitations is daily more reformed 

[according to the image of God. 



Chapter LV.— Of the Corruption of Nature and of the 
Efficacy of Divine Grace. 

I. O Lord my God who hast created me after thine own image 

[and likeness : 
grant me this grace which thou hast shown to be so great and so 

[necessary to salvation ; 
that I may overcome my very evil nature which draws me to sins 

[and perdition. 
For I perceive in my flesh the law of sin contradicting the law of 

[my mind and leading me captive 
to obey my senses in inany things : 
neither can I resist the passions thereof; 
unless assisted by th>- holy grace glowingly infused into my heart. 

I need thy grace and great grace, 

( 347 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LV. 

ut vincatur natura ; 

ad malum semper prona ab adolescentia sua. 

Nam per primum hominem Adam lapsa et vitiata per peccatum ; 

in omnes homines poena hujus maculae descendit : 

ut ipsa natura quae bene et recta a te condita fuit, 

pro vitio jam et infirmitate corruptae naturae ponatur ; 

eo quod motus ejus sibi relictus ad malum et inferiora trahit. 

Nam modica vis quae remansit ; 

est tamquam scintilla quaedam latens in cinere. 

Haec est ipsa ratio naturalis circumfusa magna caligine ; 

adhuc judicium habens boni et mali, 

veri falsique distantiam : 

licet impotens sit adimplere omne quod approbat ; [potiatur. 

nee pleno jam lumine veritatis nee sanitate affectionum suarum 

Hinc est Deus mens quod condelector legi tuae secundum in- 

[teriorem hominem : 
sciens mandatum tuum fore bonum justum et sanctum ; 
arguens etiam omne malum et peccatum fugiendum : 
carne autem servio legi peccati ; 
dum magis sensualitati obedio quam rationi. 

Hinc est quod velle bonum mihi adjacet ; 
perficere autem non invenio. 

Hinc saepe multa bona propono : 
sed quia gratia deest ad adjuvandam infirmitatem meam ; 
ex levi resistentia resilio et deficio. 

Hinc accidit quod viam perfectionis agnosco : 
et quaUter agere debeam clare satis video ; 
sed propriae corruptionis pondere pressus, 
ad perfectiora non assurgo. 

n. O quam maxime est mihi necessaria Domine tua gratia, 
ad inchoandum bonum, 
ad proficiendum, 
et ad perficiendum : 
nam sine ea nihil possum facere ; 
omnia autem possum in te confortante me gratia. 

O vere caelestis gratia : 

( 348 ) 



Book III. Chap. LV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

to overcome nature ; 

which is always prone to evil from her youth. [corrupted by sin ; 

For she having fallen through the first man Adam and having been 

the penalty of this stain has come down upon all mankind: 

so that nature herself which by thee was fashioned good and up- 

now stands for the vice and infirmity of corrupted nature ; [right, 

since she tends when left to herself to evil and to things below. 

For the little strength which remains ; 

is but as a spark hidden in the ashes. 

This is our natural reason itself wrapped around with a great mist ; 

still able to judge between good and evil, 

and to discern the true and the false : 

though it be unable to fulfil all that it approves ; [of its affections. 

and does not now enjoy the full light of truth nor a healthy state 

Hence it is O my God that according to the inward man I am de- 

[lighted with thy law : 
knowing that thy command will prove to be good just and holy ; 
and reproving all evil and sin as what ought to be shunned : 
and yet with the flesh I serve the law of sin ; 
whilst I rather obey my senses than my reason. 

Hence it is that to will good is present with me ; 
but how to accomplish it I find not. 

Hence I often make many good resolutions : 
but because I lack grace to help my weakness : 
through a slight resistance I recoil and fall away. 

Hence it comes to pass that I recognize the way of perfection : 
and see clearly enough what it is I ought to do ; 
but being pressed down with the weight of my own corruption, 
I rise not to those things which are more perfect. 

n. Oh how exceedingly necessarj' is thy grace for me O Lord, 
to begin that which is good, 
to continue it, 
and to perfect it : 
for without it I can do nothing ; 
but I can do all things in thee when thy grace strengthens me. 

O grace truly of heaven : 

( 349 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lik. III. Cap. LV. 

sine qua nulla sunt propria merita ; 
nulla quoque dona naturae ponderanda. 
Nihil artes nihil divitiae, 
nihil pulchritude vel fortitude ; 

nihil ingenium vel eloquentia valent apud te Domine sine gratia. 
Nam dona naturae bonis et malis sunt communia : 
electorum autem proprium donum est gratia sive dilectio ; 
qua insigniti digni habentur vita aeterna. 
Tantum eminet haec gratia ; 

ut nee donum prophetiae nee signorum operatio nee quantalibet 

[alta speculatio aliquid aestimetur sine ea. 
Sed neque fides neque spes, 

neque aliae virtutes ; , 

tibi aeceptae sunt sine caritate et gratia. 

111. O beatissima gratia quae pauperem spiritu virtutibus divi- 

[tem facis ; 
et divitem multis bonis humilem corde reddis : 
veni deseende ad me, 
reple me mane consolatione tua ; 
ne deficiat prae lassitudine et ariditate mentis anima mea. 

Obsecro Domine ut inveniam gratiam in oeulis tuis : 
suffieit enim mihi gratia tua ; 
ceteris non obtentis quae desiderat natura. 
Si fuero tentatus et vexatus tribulationibus multis, 
non timebo mala ; 
dum meeum fuerit gratia tua. 
Ipsa fortitude mea ; 
ipsa consilium fert et auxilium. 
Cunetis hestibus petentior est : 
et sapientior universis sapientibus. 
Alagistra est verilatis, 
dectrix disciplinae : 
lumen cordis, 
selamen pressurae, 

fugalrix tristitiae ; ' 

ablatrix timoris, 
nutrix devotionis, 

( 35° ) 



Book III. Chai'. LV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

without which we have no merits of our own ; 
neither are any of the gifts of nature to be valued. 
No arts no riches, 
no beauty or strength ; 

no wit or eloquence are of any worth with thee O Lord without 
For the gifts of nature are common to the good and bad : [grace, 
but grace or divine love is the proper gift of the elect; 
and they who are adorned with it are deemed worthy of eternal life. 
This grace is so excellent ; 

that neither the gift of prophecy nor the working of miracles nor 
[any speculation how sublime soever is of any value without it. 
Nay not even faith nor hope, 
nor any other virtues ; 
are acceptable to thee without charity and grace. 

III. O most blessed grace which makes the poor in spirit rich 

[in virtues ; 
and renders him who is rich with many goods humble of heart : 
come descend upon me, 
replenish me betimes with thy consolations ; 
lest my soul faint through weariness and dryness of mind. 

I beseech thee O Lord that I may find grace in thy sight : 
for thy grace is enough for me ; 

though I obtain none of those things which nature desires. 
If I be tempted and afflicted with many tribulations, 
I will fear no evil ; 
whilst thy grace is with me. 
She is my strength ; 
she gives counsel and help. 
She is more mighty than all mine enemies ; 
and wiser than all the wise. 
She is the mistress of truth, 
the teacher of discipline : 
the light of the heart, 
the solace of affliction, 
the banisher of sorrow ; 
the remover of fear, 
the nurse of devotion, 

( 35T ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LVI. 

productrix lacrimarum. 

Quid sum sine ea nisi aridum lignum : 

et stips inutilis ad ejiciendum ? 

Tua ergo me Domine gratia semper et praeveniat et sequatur : 
ac bonis operibus jugiter praestet esse intentum ; 
per Jesum Christum Filium tuum. 

Amen. 



Cap. LVI.— Quod nos ipsos Abnegare et Christum Imitari 

DEBEMUS PER CRUCEM. 

I. Fili. 
Quantum a te vales exire ; 
tantum in me poteris transire. 

Sicut nihil foris concupiscere internam pacem facit ; 
sic se interius relinquere Deo conjungit. 

Volo te addiscere perfectam abnegationem tui, 
in voluntate mea ; 
sine contradictione et querela. 

Sequere me, 
ego sum via Veritas, 
et vita. 

Sine via non itur : 
sine veritate non cognoscitur ; 
sine vita non vivitur. 
Ego sum via quam sequi debes : 
Veritas cui credere debes ; 
vita quam sperare debes. 
Ego sum via inviolabilis : 
Veritas infallibilis ; 
vita interminabilis. 
Ego sum via rectissima : 
Veritas suprema ; 
vita vera vita beata vita incrcata. 
Si manseris in via mea cognosces veritatem : 

( 352 ) 



Book III. Chap. LVI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

the producer of tears. 

What am I without her but a dry tree : 

and an useless stock fit only to be cast away ? 

Let thy grace therefore O Lord always prevent and follow me : 
and make me ever intent upon good works ; 
through Jesus Christ thy son. 

Amen. 



Chapter LVI.— That we ought to Dexv ourselves and 
Imitate Christ by the Cross. 

I. Son. 
In so far as thou canst go out of thyself ; 
so far wilt thou be able to pass over into me. 
As the desiring nothing abroad brings peace at home ; 
so to give up self inwardly unites us with God. 

I will have thee go on to learn perfect renunciation of thyself, 
in my will ; 
without contradiction or complaint. 

Follow me, 
I am the way the truth, 
and the life. 

Without the way there is no going : 
without the truth there is no knowing ; 
without the life there is no living. 
I am the way which thou must follow : 
the truth which thou must believe : 
the life which thou must hope for. 
I am the wa>- secure from harm : 
the truth which cannot fail ; 
and the life which can have no end. 
I am the straightest way : 
the sovereign truth ; 

the true life the blessed life the uncreated life. 
If thou abide in my way thou shalt know the truth : 

( 353 ) 3 A 



nK IMITATIONE CHRISTI. LIB. III. CAP. LVI 

et Veritas liberabit te ; 

et apprehendes vitam aeternam. 

Si vis ad vitam ingredi ; 
serva mandata. 
Si vis veritatem cognoscere ; 
crede mihi. 
Si vis perfectus esse ; 
vende omnia. 

Si vis esse discipulus mens ; 
abnega temet ipsum. 
Si vis beatum vitam possidere ; 
praesentem vitam contemne. 
Si vis exaltari in caelo ; 
humilia te in mundo. 
Si vis regnare mecum ; 
porta crucem mecum. 
Soli enim servi crucis ; 
inveniunt viam beatitudinis et verae lucis. 

II. Domine Jesu quia arta erat via tua et mundo despecta ; 
dona mihi te cum mundi despectu imitari. 

Non enim major est servus domino suo ; 
nee discipulus supra magistrum. 

Exerceatur servus tuus in vita tua ; 
quia ibi est salus mea, 
et sanctitas vera. 

Quidquid extra eam lego vel audio ; 
non me recreat nee delectat plene. 

III. Fill quia haec scis et legisti omnia ; 
beatus eris si feceris ea. 

Qui habet mandata mea et servat ea ; 

ipse est qui diligit me. 

Et ego diligam eum : 

et manifestabo ei me ipsum ; 

et faciam eum consedere mecum in regno Patris mei. 



( 354 ) 



Book III. Ciiap. LVI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and the truth shall make thee free ; 

and thou shalt lay hold on life everlasting. 

If thou wilt enter into life ; 
keep the commandments. 
If thou wilt know the truth ; 
believe me. 

If thou wilt be perfect ; 
sell all thou hast. 
If thou wilt be my disciple; 
deny thyself. 

If thou wilt possess the blessed life ; 
despise the present life. 
If thou wilt be exalted in heaven ; 
humble thyself in the world. 
If thou wilt reign with me ; 
bear the cross with me. 
For none but the servants of the cross ; 
find the way of bliss and of true light. 

II. Lord Jesus forasmuch as thy way was narrow and despised 
grant that I may follow thee though the world despise me. [by the 
For the disciple is not above his master ; l^world ; 
nor the servant above his lord. 

Let thy servant exercise himself in thy life; 
for there is my salvation, 
and true holiness. 

Whatever more than this I read or liear ; 
neither refreshes me nor gives me full delight. 

III. Son as thou knowest these things and hast read them all : 
blessed shalt thou be if thou doest them. 

He who has my commandments and keeps them ; 

he it is who loves me. 

And I will love him : 

and will manifest myself to him ; 

and I will make him sit down with me in the kingdom of my Father. 

( 355 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LVII. 

Domine Jesu sicut dixisti et promisisti ; 
sic utique fiat et mihi promereri contingat. 
Suscepi suscepi de manu tua crucem : 
portabo et portabo earn usque ad mortem ; 
sicut imposuisti mihi. 
Vere vita boni monachi crux est ; 
sed dux paradisi. 

Inceptum est retro abire non licet ; 
nee relinquere oportet. 

IV. Eia fratres pergamus simul ; 
Jesus erit nobiscum. 

Propter Jesum suscepimus banc crucem ; 
propter Jesum perseveremus in cruce. 
Erit adjutor noster ; 
qui est dux noster et praecessor. 
En rex noster ingreditur ante nos ; 
qui pugnabit pro nobis. 
Sequamur viriliter, 
nemo metuat terrores : 
simus parati mori fortiter in bello ; 
nee inferamus crimen gloriae nostrae ut fugiamus a cruce. 



Cap. LVII.— Quod Homo non sit nimis Uejectus quando 

IN ALIQUOS LABITUR DeFECTUS. 

I. Fili. 
Magis placent mihi patientia et humilitas in adversis ; 
quam multa consolatio et devotio in prosperis. 

Ut quid te contristat parvum factum contra te dictum? 
Si amplius fuisset ; 
commoveri non debuisses. 
Sed nunc permitte transire. 
Non est primum nee novum ; 
nee ultimum erit si diu vixeris. 

Satis virilis es ; 

(356) 



Book III. Cuap. LVII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

Lord Jesus as thou hast said and hast promised ; 
so may it be indeed and may it be my lot to merit it. 
I have received the cross I have received it from thy hand : 
I will bear it and bear it unto death ; 
as thou hast laid it upon me. 
Verily the life of a good monk is a cross ; 
but it leads him to paradise. 
We have begun it is not lawful to go back ; 
nor should we leave off. 

IV. Come then my brethren let us go forward together ; 
Jesus will be with us. 

For the sake of Jesus we took up this cross ; 
for the sake of Jesus let us persevere in the cross. 
He will be our helper ; 
who is our captain and our forerunner. 
Behold our king goes on before us ; 
and he will fight for us. 
Let us follow him like men, 
let no one fear the terrors of the fight : 
let us be ready to die valiantly in battle ; 
and let us not stain our glory by flying from the cross. 



Chapter LVIL— That a Man should not be too .much 
Dejected when he Falls into some Defects. 

L Son. 
Patience and humility in adversity are more pleasing to me ; 
than much consolation and devotion in prosperity. 

Why art thou disturbed at a little thing said against thee ? 
If it had been more ; 
thou oughtest not to have been moved. 
Lut now let it pass. 
It is not the first nor any thing new; 
nor will it be the last if thou live long. 

Thou art valiant enough ; 

; 357 ) 



Ue Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LVII. 

quamdiu nil obviat adversi. 

Bene etiam consulis et alios nosti roborare verbis : 

sed quum ad januam tuam venit repentina tribulatio ; 

deficis consilio et robore. 

Attende magnam fragilitatem tuam ; 

quam saepius experiris in modicis objectis. 

Tamen pro salute tua ista fiunt : 

quum haec et similia contingunt. 

Pone ut melius nosti, 
ex corde : 
et si te tetigit : 

non tamen dejiciat nee diu implicet. 
Ad minus sustine patienter ; 
si non potes gaudenter. 

Etiamsi minus libenter audis et indignationem sentis : 
reprime te ; 

nee patiaris aliquid inordinatum ex ore tuo exire unde parvuli 
Cito conquiescet commotio excitata ; [scandalizentur. 

et dolor internus revertente dulcorabitur gratia. 
Adhucvivo ego dicit Dominus juvare te paratus et solito amplius 
si confisus fueris mihi et devote invocaveris. [consolari; 

Animaequior esto : 
et ad majorem sustinentiam accingere. 
Non est totum frustratum ; 

si te saepius percipis tribulatum vel graviter tentatum. 
Homo es et non Deus. 
Caro es, 
non angelus. 

Quomodo tu posses semper in eodem statu virtutis permanere : 
quando hoc defuit angelo in caelo, 
et primo homini in paradiso ? 
Ego sum qui moerentes erigo sospitate : 
et suam eognoseentes infirmitatem ; 
ad meam proveho divinitatem. 

II. Domine benedictum sit verbum tuum ; 

( 358 ) 



Book III. Chap. LVII. Of thk Imit.xtion of Christ. 

so long as no adversity or opposition comes in thy way. 

Thou canst also give good advice and encourage others with thy 

but when any une.xpected trouble comes to thy door : [words : 

then lackest thou counsel and courage. 

Consider thy great frailty ; 

which thou hast often experienced in small difficulties. 

Yet it is for thy salvation ; 

when these or such-like things befall thee. 

Put it according to thy better knowledge, 
away from thy heart : 
and if it has touched thee ; 

yet let it not cast thee down nor keep thee a long time entangled. 
At least bear it patiently ; 
if thou canst not with joy. 

And though thou be not willing to bear it and feel indignation : 
restrain thyself; [may oft'end the little ones, 

and sufter not any unseemly word to come out of thy mouth which 
Soon will the commotion stirred up be soothed to rest ; 
and thine inward smart will be sweetened by the return of grace. 
As I live saith the Lord I am ready to help and comfort thee more 
if thou put thy trust in me and devoutly call upon me. [than my 

Keep thy mind calm and even ; [wont ; 

and gird thyself to a greater endurance. 
All is not rendered vain ; 

if thou feel thyself often afflicted or grievously tempted. 
Thou art man and not God. 
Thou art flesh, 
not an angel. 

How couldest thou have ever remained in the same state of virtue : 
when this was not found in the angel in heaven, 
nor in the first man in paradise.? 
I am he who raise up and save them who mourn : 
and those who know their own infirmity ; 
I lead onward to my divinity. 

II. O Lord blessed be thy word ; 

<, 359 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LVIII. 

dulce super mel et favum ori meo. 

Quid facerem in tantis tribulationibus et angustiis meis : 
nisi me confortares tuis Sanctis sermonibus ? 
Dummodo tandem ad portum salutis perveniam ; 
quid curae est quae et quanta passus fuero ? 
Dafinem bonum ; 

da felicem ex hoc mundo transitum. 
Memento mei Deus meus ; 
el dirige me recto itinere in regnum tuum. 

Amen. 



Cap. LVIII.— De Altioribus Rebus et Occultis Judiciis 
Dei non Scrutandis. 

I. Fili. 
Caveas disputare de altis materiis et de occultis Dei judiciis ; 
cur iste sic relinquitur, 
et ille ad tantam gratiam assumitur : 
cur etiam iste tantum afifligitur ; 
et ille tarn eximie exaltatur. 

Ista omnem humanam facultatem excedunt ; [disputatio. 

nee ad investigandum judicium divinum uUa ratio praevalet vel 

(luando ergo haec tibi suggerit inimicus, 
vel etiam quidam curiosi inquirunt homines : 
responde illud prophetae. 
Justus es Domine ; 
et rectum judicium tuum. 
Et illud. 

Judicia Domini vera, 
justificata in semet ipsa. 

Judicia mea metuenda sunt, 
non discutienda : 
quia humano intellectui sunt incomprehensibilia. 

Noli etiam inquirere, 
nee disputare de meritis sanctorum ; 
quis alio sit sanctior, 

( 360 ) 



Book III. Chap. T.VTTl. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

sweeter to my mouth than honey and the honeycomb. 
What should I do in so great tribulations and anguish: 
if thou didst not encourage me with thy holy words ? 
So only I come at length to the haven of salvation ; 
what matter is it how much or what I suffer? 
Grant me a good end; 

grant me a happy passage out of this world. 
Be ever mindful of me O my God ; 
and direct me by the straight road to thy kingdom. 

Amen. 



Chapter LVIIL— Of Not Searching into High Matters 
NOR into the Secret Judgments of God. 

I. Son. 
Take heed thou dispute not about high matters nor about the 
why this man is left thus, [hidden judgments of God ; 

and that other is raised to so great grace : 
or why this person is so much afflicted ; 
and that other so highly exalted. 

These things exceed any power of man ; [of God. 

neither is any reason or discourse able to trace out the judgments 

When therefore the enemy suggests to thee these things, 
or thou hearest curious men inquiring into them : 
give answer in the words of the prophet. 
Thou art just O Lord ; 
and thy judgment is right. 
And again. 

The judgments of the Lord are true, 
justified in themselves. 

My judgments are to be feared, 
not to be searched into : 
for they are incomprehensible to human understanding. 

Moreover inquire thou not, 
nor dispute concerning the merits of the saints ; 
which of them is more holy than the other, 

( 361 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LVllL 

aut quis major fuerit in regno caelorum. 

Talia generant saepe lites et contentiones inutiles ; 

nutriimt quoque superbiam et vanam gloriam unde oriuntur in- 

dum iste ilium sanctum ; [vidiae et dissensiones : 

et alius alium conatur superbe praeferre. 

Talia autem velle scire et investigare nullum fructum afFerunt : 

sed magis Sanctis displicent ; 

quia non sum Deus dissensionis sed pacis: 

quae pax magis in humilitate vera ; 

quam in propria exaltatione consistit. 

Ouidam zelo dilectionis trahuntur ad hos vel ad illos ampliori 
sed humano potius quam divino. [aftectu ; 

Ego sum qui cunctos condidi sanctos : 
ego donavi gratiam ; 
ego praestiti gloriam. 
Ego novi singulorum merita : 

ego praeveni eos in benedictionibus dulcedinis meae; 
ego praescivi dilectos ante saecula. 
Ego eos elegi de mundo non ipsi me praeelegerunt ; 
ego vocavi per gratiam, 
attraxi per misericordiam. 
Ego perduxi eos per tentationes varias : 
ego infudi consolationes magnificas : 
ego dedi perseverantiam ; 
ego coronavi eorum patientiam. 
Ego primum et novissimum agnosco : 
ego omnes inaestimabili dilectione amplector. 
Ego laudandus sum in omnibus Sanctis meis : 
ego super omnia benedicendus sum et honorandus in singulis ; 
quos sic gloriose magnificavi et praedestinavi sine ullis praecedenti- 

[bus propriis meritis. 
Qui ergo unum da minimis meis contempserit : 
nee magnum honorat ; 
quia pusillum et magnum ego feci. 
Et qui derogat alicui sanctorum ; 
derogat et mihi et ceteris omnibus in regno caelorum. 
Omnes unum sunt per caritatis vinculum : 

( 362 ) 



Book III. Chap. L\'III. Of tiik Imitation of Cjikisi. 

or which the greater in the kingdom of heaven. 

These things oftentimes breed strifes and unprofitable contentions; 

and nourish pride and vain glory whence arise envy and dissensions: 

whilst one man proudly seeks to exalt this saint .: 

and another man another. 

Now to desire to know and to search into such things as these 

but rather displeases the saints : [yields no fruit : 

for I am not the God of dissension but of peace: 

which peace consists more in true humility; 

than in exalting self 

Some are drawn by a zeal of love towards these saints or those 
but with affection rather human than divine, [with greater affection ; 
I am he who made all the saints : 
I gave them grace ; 
I have bestowed on them glory. 
I know the merits of each : 

I prevented them by the blessings of my sweetness ; 
I foreknew my beloved before the ages. 

I chose them out of the world it was not they who first chose me ; 
I called them by grace, 
and drew them to me by mercy. 
I led them through many temptations : 
I poured into their hearts marvellous consolations : 
I gave them perseverance ; 
I have crowned their patience. 
I know the first and the last : 
I embrace all with an inestimable love. 

I am to be praised in all my saints : [of them ; 

I am to be blessed above all things and to be honoured in each one 
whom I have thus gloriously magnified and predestined without 

[any foregoing merits of their own. 
He therefore who despises one of the least of my saints : 
honours not him who is great ; 
for I have made both small and great. 
And he who derogates from any one of the saints ; 
derogates also from me and from all others in the kingdom of heaven. 
They are all one through the bond of lo\e : 

( 363 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LVIII. 

idem sentiunt idem volunt ; 
et omnes in unum se diligunt. 
Adhuc autem quod multo altius est ; 
plus me quam se et sua merita diligunt. 
Nam supra se rapti et extra propriam dilectionem tracti, 
toti in amorem mei pergunt ; 
in quo et fruitive quiescunt. 

Nihil est quod eos avertere possit aut deprimere : 
quippe qui aeterna veritate pleni, 
igne ardescunt inextinguibilis caritatis. 
Taceant igitur carnales et animales homines de sanctorum statu 

[disserere ; 
qui non norunt nisi privata gaudia diligere. 
Demunt et addunt pro sua inclinatione ; 
non prout placet aeternae veritati. 
In multis est ignorantia ; 
eorum maxime qui parum illuminati, 
raro aliquem perfecta dilectione spirituali diligere norunt. 
Multum adhuc naturali affectu et humana amicitia ad hos vel ad 

[illos trahuntur: 
et sicut in inferioribus se habent ; 
ita et de caelestibus imaginantur. 

Sed est distantia incomparabilis quae imperfecti cogitant ; 
et quae illuminati viri per revelationem supernam speculantur. 

II. Cave ergo fill de istis curiose tractare quae tuam scientiam 

[excedunt ; 
sed hoc magis satage et intende ; 
ut vel niinimus in regno Dei queas invcmri. 

Etsi quispiam sciret quis alio sanctior esset vel major haberetur in 

[regno caelorum : 
quid ei haec notitia prodessei, 

nisi se ex hac cognitione coram me humiliaret et in majorem nominis 

[mei laudem exsurgeret ? 
Multo acceptius Deo facit qui de peccatorum suorum magnitudine 

[et virtutum suarum parvitate cogitat, 
et quam longe a perfectione sanctorum distat ; 

( 364 ) 



Book III. Chap. LVIII. Of tiii; Imitation of Christ. 

they have the same sentiments the same will : 
and all love each other as one. 
And moreover what is much higher ; 

they all love me more than themselves and their own merits. 
For being carried up above themselves and drawn out of the love 
they are wholly set on the love of me ; [of themselves, 

in whom also they rest with enjoyment. 

There is nothing which can divert them from me or lower their rank: 
for being full of the eternal truth, 

they burn with the fire of a charity which cannot be extinguished. 
Therefore let carnal and sensual men forbear to dispute of the 

[state of the saints ; 
for they know not how to love any thing but their own delights. 
They add and take away according to their own inclination ; 
not according to what is pleasing to eternal truth. 
In many there is ignorance; 
especially in such as being but little enlightened, 
seldom know how to love any one with a perfect spiritual love. 
They are as yet much drawn towards such or such by a natural 

[affection and human friendship : 
and as they are affected with regard to things below ; 
so they form their ideas of the things of heaven. [imagine ; 

But there is an incomparable distance between what the imperfect 
and what enlightened men contemplate by revelation from above. 

II. Take heed therefore my son that thou treat not curiouslv 
[of these things which e.\ceed thy knowledge: 
but rather make it thy business and thy aim ; 
that thou be found even the least in the kingdom of God. 
Even if any one should know who were more holy or held to be 

[greater in the kingdom of heaven : 
what would this knowledge profit him, 

unless he would take occasion from knowing this to humble himself 

[in my sight and rise up to a greater praise of my name ? 

He does what is far more pleasing to God who thinks of the great- 

[ness of his own sins and the littleness of his own virtues, 

and how far from the perfection of the saints is he ; 

( 365 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LVIII. 

quam is qui de eorum majoritate vel parvitate disputat. 
Melius est sanctos devotis precibus et lacrimis exorare, 
et eorum gloriosa suffragia humili mente implorare ; 
quam eorum secreta vana inquisitione perscrutari. 

Illi bene et optime contentantur ; 
si homines scirent contentari et vaniloquia sua compescere. 
Non gloriantur de propriis meritis : 
quippe qui sibi nihil bonitatis ascribunt sed totum mihi ; 
quoniam ipsis cuncta ex infinita caritate niea donavi. 
Tanto amore divinitatis et gaudio supereffluenti replentur ; 
ut nihil eis desit gloriae ; 
nihilque possit deesse felicitatis. 

Omnes sancti quanto altiores in gloria tanto humiliores in se ipsis ; 
et mihi viciniores et dilectiores exsistunt. 
Ideoque habes scriptum : 

quia mittebant coronas suas ante Deum et ceciderunt in fades suas 
et adoraverunt viventem in saecula saeculorum. [coram Agno ; 

III. Multi quaerunt quis major sit in regno Dei ; 
qui ignorant an cum minimis erunt digni computari. 
Magnum est vel minimum esse in caelo, 
ubi omnes magni sunt ; 
quia omnes filii Dei vocabuntur et erunt. 
Minimus erit in mille ; 
et peccator centum annorum morietur. 

Ouum enim quaererent discipuli quis major esset in regno caelorum ; 
tale audierunt responsum. 

Nisi conversi fueritis et efficiamini sicut parvuli; 
non intrabitis in regnuni caelorum. 
Ouicumque ergo humiliaverit se sicut parvulus iste ; 
hie major est in regno caelorum. 

Vae eis qui cum parvulis humiliare se sponte dedignantur ; 
quoniam humilis janua regni caelestis eos non admittet intrare. 
Vae etiam divitibus, 
qui habent hie consolationes suas : 
quia pauperibus intrantibus in regnum Uei ; 
ipsi stabunt foras ejulantes. 

(366) 



Book III. Chap. IA'III. Ov the Imitation of Christ. 

who disputes about their greatness or smaUncss. 
It is better to invoke the saints with devout prayers and tears, 
and to implore their glorious suffrages with a humble mind ; 
than by a vain inquiry to search into their secrets. 

They are well yea perfectly contented ; 
if men would be but contented and would refrain from their vain 
They gloiy not in their own merits : [discourses. 

for they ascribe nothing of goodness to themselves but all to me ; 
because I bestowed all upon them out of my intinite charity. 
They are filled with so great a love of the Divinity and with such 
that there is nothing lacking to their glory ; [overflowing joy : 

nor can any happiness be lacking to them. 

All the saints the higher they are in glory the more humble are they 
and the nearer to me and the better beloved by me. [in themselves ; 
And therefore thou hast it written : 

that they cast their crowns before God and fell on their faces before 
and adored him who liveth for ever and ever. [the Lamb : 

III. Many inquire who is the greater in the kingdom of God ; 
when they know not whether they shall be worthy to be numbered 
It is a great matter to be even the least in heaven, [among the least. 
where all are great ; 

because all shall be called and shall be the children of God. 
The least shall be as a thousand ; 
and the sinner of a hundred years shall die. 

For when the disciples asked who was the greater in the kingdom 
they received this answer. [of heaven ; 

Except ye be converted and become as little children ; 
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child ; 
he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. [little children ; 

Woe to them who disdain to humble themselves willingly with the 
for the low gate of the heavenly kingdom will not allow them to 
Woe also to the rich, [enter. 

who have their consolations here : 
for when the poor shall go into the kingdom of God ; 
they shall stand without lamenting. 

( 367 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LIX. 

Gaudete humiles, 
et exsultate pauperes : 
quia vestrum est regnum Dei ; 
si tamen in veritate ambulatis. 



Cap. LIX.— Quod omnis Spf:s et Fiducia in solo Deo est 

FiGENDA. 

I. Domine quae est fiducia mea quam in hac vita habeo : 
aut quod majus solatium meum ex omnibus apparentibus sub caelo? 
Nonne tu Domine Deus meus : 
cujus misericordiae non est numerus ? 
Ubi mihi bene fuit sine te 1 
Aut quando male esse potuit praesente te? 
Malo pauper esse propter te ; 
quam dives sine te. 

Eligo potius tecum in terra peregrinari ; 
quam sine te caelum possidere. 
Ubi tu ibi caelum : 
atque ibi mors et infernus ; 
ubi tu non es. 
Tu mihi in desiderio es ; 

et ideo post te gemere clamare et exorare necesse est 
In nuUo denique possum plene confidere qui in necessitatibus 
nisi in te solo Deo meo. [auxilietur opportunius ; 

Tu es spes mea tu fiducia mea ; 
tu consolator meus et fidelissimus in omnibus. 

Omnes quae sua sunt quaerunt : 
tu salutem meam et profectum meum solummodo praetendis ; 
et omnia in bonum mihi convertis. 
Etiamsi variis tentationibus et adversitatibus exponas : 
hoc totum ad utilitatem meam ordinas ; 
qui mille modis dilectos tuos probare consuevisti. 

( 368 ) 



Book III. Chap. LIX. Ok the Imitation of Christ. 

Rejoice ye who are humble, 
and be glad ye who are poor : 
for yours is the kingdom of (iod ; 
if indeed ye walk in truth. 



Chapter LIX.— That all Hope and Confidence is to re 
Fixed in God alone. 

I. Lord what is my confidence which I have in this life : 
or what my greater comfort amongst all things which are seen 
Is it not thou O Lord my God : [under heaven ? 

whose mercies are without number .' 
Where was it ever well with me absent from thee ? 
Or when could things go ill with me when thou wast present ? 
I had rather be poor for thy sake ; 
than rich without thee. 

I choose rather to sojourn upon earth with thee ; 
than to possess heaven without thee. 
Where thou art there is heaven : 
and there is death and hell ; 
where thou art not. 
Thou art my longing ; 

and therefore I must needs sigh after thee cry and entreat. 
In short I cannot fully trust in any one to bring me more season- 
save only in thee my God. [able help in my necessities ; 
Thou art my hope thou my confidence ; 
thou my comforter and most faithful in all things. 

All seek their own interest : 
thou aimest only at my salvation and profit ; 
and turnest all things to my good. 

Even though thou e.xpose me to various temptations and adversities : 
yet all this thou ordainest for my good : 

thou who art wont to prove thy beloved servants a thousand ways. 

( 369 ) 2 B 



Df, Imitatione Christi. Lib. III. Cap. LIX. 

In qua probatione non minus diligi debes et laudari ; 

quam si caelestibus consolationibus me repleres. 

In te ergo Domine Deus pono tstam spem meam et refugium ; 

in te omnem tribulationem et angustiam meam constituo : 

quia totum infirmum et instabile invenio ; 

quidquid extra te conspicio. 

Non enim proderunt multi amici, 
neque fortes auxiliarii adjuvare poterunt; 
nee prudentes consiliarii responsum utile dare, 
neque libri doctorum consolari : 
nee aliqua pretiosa substantia liberare, 

nee locus aliquis secretus et amoenus contutari ; [todias. 

si tu ipse non assistas juves confortes consoleris instruas et cus- 
Omnia namque quae ad pacem videntur esse et felicitatem haben- 
te absente nihil sunt ; [dam : 

nihilque felicitatis in veritate conferunt. 
Finis ergo omnium bonorum et altitude vitae, ' 
et profunditas eloquiorum tu es ; 

etin te super omnia sperare fortissimum solatium servorum tuorum. 
Ad te sunt oculi mei ; 
in te confido Deus mens miserieordiarum Pater. 

II. Benedie et sanctifica animam meam benedictione caelesti, 
ut fiat habitatio sancta tua et sedes aeternae gloriae tuae : 
nihilque in templo tuae dignitatis inveniatur ; 
quod oculos tuae majestatis offendat. 
Secundum magnitudinem bonitatis tuae, 
et multitudinem miserationum tuarum respice in me ; 
et exaudi orationem pauperis servi tui longe exsulantis in regione 

[umbrae mortis. 
Protege et conserva animam servuli tui inter tot discrimina vitae 

[eorruptibilis ; 
ac comitante gratia tua dirige per viam pacis ad patriam perpetuae 

[claritatis. 
Amen. 



( 370 ) 



Hook III. Chap. LIX. Of the 1mit.\tion of Christ. 

And in this proving of mc thou oughtcst no less to be loved and 
than if thou wert to fill mc with heavenly consolations. [praised ; 
In thee therefore Lord God I put all my hope and refuge ; 
on thee I repose all my tribulation and anguish : 
for I find all to be infirm and unstable ; 
whatever I behold out of thee. 

For neither will many friends avail me, 
nor strong helpers bring me succour ; 
nor wise counsellors give an useful answer, 
nor books of learned men console me : 
nor all precious substance set me free, 

nor any secret and pleasant place keep me safe ; [and keep mc. 
if thou thyself stand not by me help not strengthen cheer teach 
For all things which seem to be for our peace and for our happiness : 
are nothing when thou art absent ; 
and in truth confer no happiness. 

Thou therefore art the end of all good the height of life, 
and the depth of all that can be uttered ; 

and to trust in thee above all things is the greatest comfort of th)' 
To thee I lift mine eyes ; [servants. 

in thee my God Father of mercies I put my trust. 

II. Bless and sanctify my soul with thy heavenly blessing, [glory : 
that it may be made thy holy habitation and the seat of thy eternal 
and in what thou hast deigned to make thy temple let nothing be 
which may offend the eyes of thy majesty. [found ; 

According to the greatness of thy goodness, 
and the multitude of thy mercies look down upon me ; 
and give ear to the prayer of thy poor servant banished far from 

[thee in the region of the shadow of death. 
Protect and keep the soul of thy poor servant amidst so many 

[perils of this corruptible life; 
and direct him with the fellowship of thy grace through the path 

[of peace to the country of everlasting light. 
Amen. 



(371 ) 



DEVOTA 
EXHORTATIO AD SACRAM COMMUNIONEM. 

LIBER QUARTUS. 



A DEVOUT 
EXHORTATION TO HOLY COMMUNION. 

BOOK IV. 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. I. 



LIB. IV. 

vox CHRISTI. 

Venite ad me omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis ; 
et ego reficiam vos dicit Uominus. 
Panis quern ego dabo ; 
caro mea est pro mundi vita. 
Accipite et comedite : 

hoc est corpus meum quod pro vobis tradetur ; 
hoc facite in meam commemorationem. 
Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem ; 
in me manet, 
etego in illo. 

Verba quae ego locutus sum vobis ; 
spiritus et vita sunt. 



Cap. I.— -Cum Quanta Reverentia Christus sit 

SUSCIPIENDUS. 

vox DISCIPULI. 

I. Haec sunt verba tua Christe "\''eritas aeterna: 
quamvis non uno tempore prolata ; 
nee uno in loco conscripta. 
Quia ergo tua sunt et vera : 

gratanter mihi etfideliter cuncta sunt accipienda. 
Tua sunt et tu ea protulisti : 
et mea quoque sunt ; 
quia pro salute mea ea edidisti. 
Libenter suscipio ea ex ore tuo ; 
ut artius inserantur cordi meo. 
Excitant me verba tantae pietatis ; 
plena dulcedinis et dilectionis. 
Sed terrent me delicta propria ; 
et ad capienda tanta mysteria me reverber-at impura conscientia. 

( 374 ) 



Bo(iK IV. Chap. I. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



BOOK IV. 

THE VOICE OK CHRIST. 

Come unto me all ye who labour antl are lieavy laden ; 
and I will refresh you saith the Lord. 
The bread which I will give ; 
is my llesh for the life of the world. 
Take and eat : 

this is my body which shall be delivered for you ; 
do this in remembrance of me. 
He who eateth m} flesh and drinketh my blood ; 
abideth in me, 
and I in him. 

The words which 1 have spoken to you ; 
are spirit and life. 



Chapter I.— With how Great Reverence Christ is to be 

Received. 

THE voice of the DISCIPLE. 

1. These are thy words O Christ eternal Truth : 
though not all delivered at one time ; 
nor written in one place. 
Since therefore they are thy words and true : 
they are all to be received by me gratefully and with faith. 
They are thine and thou didst utter them : 
and they are also mine ; 

because thou didst give them forth for my salvation. 
Gladly do I receive them from thy mouth : 
that they may be more closely ingrafted on my heart. 
Words of so great tenderness encourage me ; 
full of sweetness and love. 
But my own sins terrify me ; 

and my unclean conscience beats me back from approaching to 

( 375 ) [such great mysteries. 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. C.\p. L 

Provocat me dulcedo verborum tuonim ; 
sed onerat multitudo vitiorum meorum. 

Jubes ut fiducialiter ad te accedam, 
si tecum velim habere partem : 
et ut immortalitatis accipiam alimoniam, 
si aetemam cupiam obtinere vitam et gloriam. 
Venite inquis ad me omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis ; 
et ego reficiam vos. 

O dulce et amicabile verbum in aure peccatoris : 
quod tu Domine Deus meus egenum et pauperem in\-itas ad com- 

Sed quis ego sum Domine : [munionem tui sanctissimi corporis, 
ut ad te praesumam accedere ? 
Ecce caeli caelorum te non capiunt : 
et tu dicis venite ad me omnes ? 
Quid sibi vult ista piissima dignatio : 
et tam. amicabilis invitatio ? 
Quomodo ausus ero venire : 

qui nihil boni mihi conscius sum unde possim praesumere ? 
Quomodo te introducam in domum meam : 
qui saepius ottendi benignissimam faciem tuam ? 
Reverentur angeli et archangeli, 
metuunt sancti et justi : 
et tu dicis venite ad me omnes ? 
Nisi tu Domine hoc diceres : 
quis verum esse crederet ? 
Et nisi tu juberes : 
quis accedere attentaret ? 

Ecce Xoe vir Justus in arcae fabrica centum annis iaboravit ut 
et ego quomodo me potero una hora praeparare, Tcum paucis 

ut mundi fabricatorem cum reverentia sumam ? [salvaretur : 

Moyses famulus tuus magnus et speciaJis amicus tuus arcam ex 
quam et mundissimo vesti\nt auro, [liguis imputribilibus fecit, 

ut tabulas legis in ea reponeret : 

ec ego putrida creatura audebo te conditorem legis ac\'itae datorem 

[tam facile suscipere ? 

(376) 



Book IV. Chap. I. Of the Ijutation of Chjust. 

The sweetness of thy words invites me ; 

but the multitude of my offences weighs me down. 

Thou commandest me to draw near to thee with confidence. 
if I would have part with thee : 
and to receive the food of immortality, 
if I would obtain life and glory everlasting. 
Come to me thou sayest all ye who labour and are heavy laden ; 
and I will refresh you. 

sweet and kindly word in the ear of a sinner ; 

that thou O Lord my God shouldest invite the poor and needy to 
But who am I Lord : [the commimion of thy most sacred body. 
that I should presume to come to thee ? 
Behold the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee : 
and thou sayest come ye all to me ? 
What means this most compassionate condescension : 
and so friendly an invitation? 
How shall I dare to approach : 

who am conscious to myself of no good on which I can pres^rr.e ? 
How shall I introduce thee into my house : 

1 who have too often offended thy most gracious couriter.ance ? 
Angels and the archangels stand in awe. 

the saints and the just are afi-aid : 
and thou sayest come ye all to me ? 
Unless thou O Lord hadst said it : 
who could believe it to be true ? 
And unless thou didst conmiand it : 
who would attempt to draw near ? 

[ark that he with a few might be saved : 

Behold Noe a just man toiled an hundred years in building the 
and I how can I in one hour prepare myself, 
to receive with reverence the maker of the world? 

Moses that great servant of thine and thy special friend made an 

which he also covered with purest gold, [ark of incorruptible wood, 

that he might lay up therein the tables of the law : 

and shall I a foul corrupted creature presume so lightly to receive 

[thee the maker of the law and the giver of life? 

( 377 ) 



De Imitations Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. I. 

Salomon sapientissimus regum Israel templum magnificum sep- 
[tem annis in laudem nominis tui aedificavit, 
et octo diebus festum dedicationis ejus celebravit, 
mille hostias pacificas obtulit, 

et arcam foederis in clangore buccinae et jubilo in locum sibi prae- 

[paratum solemniter coUocavit : 
et ego infelix et pauperrimus hominum quomodo te in domum meam 

[introducam, 
qui vix mediam expendere devote novi horam et utinam vel seme! 

[digne fere mediam ? 
II. O mi Deus quantum illi ad placendum tibi studuerunt. 
Heu quam pusillum est quod ago ; 
quam breve expleo tempus, 
quum me ad communicandum dispone. 
Raro totus collectus ; 
rarissime ab omni distractione purgatus. 
Et certe in tua salutari Deitatis praesentia, 
nulla deberet occurrere indecens cogitatio : 
nulla etiam occupare creatura ; 
quia non angelum, 

sed angelorum dominum suscepturus sum hospitio. 
Est tamen valde magna distantia inter arcam foederis cum suis 

[reliquiis, 
et mundissimum corpus tuum cum suis ineffabilibus virtutibus : 
inter legalia ilia sacrificia futurorum praefigurativa ; 
et veram corporis tui hostiam omnium antiquorum sacrificiorum 

[completivam. 
Quare igitur non magis ad tuam venerabilem inardesco praesentiam, 
cur non majori me praeparo sollicitudine ad tua sancta sumenda : 
Guando illi antiqui sancti patriarchae et prophetae, 
reges quoque et principes cum universe populo, 
tantum devotionis demonstrarunt affectum erga cultum divinum ? 

III. Saltavitdevotissimusrex David coram area Dei totisviribus, 
rccolens beneficia olim indulta patribus ; 
fecit diversi generis organa : 
psalmos edidit, 

( 378) 



Rook IV. Chap. I. Of thk Imitatiov of Chri!^t. 

Solomon wisest of the kings of Israel employed seven years in 
[building a magnificent temple to the praise of thy name, 
and for eight days he kept the feast of the dedication thereof, 
he offered a thousand peace-ofterings, 

and solemnly with sound of trumpet and with shoutings set up the 

[ark of the covenant in tlie place prepared for it : 

and I wretched and poorest of men how shall I bring thee into my 

[house, 

I who can hardly spend one half-hour devoutly and would that I 

[had ever once spent one half-hour as I ought ? 

II. O my God how much did they endeavour to please thee. 
Alas how little is it that I do ; 

how short a time do I spend, 
when I prepare myself to communicate. 
Seldom am I wholly collected ; 
very seldom free from all distraction. 
And yet surely in the life-giving presence of thy Deity, 
no unbecoming thought should occur to me : 
nor any thing created occupy my mind ; 
for it is not an angel, 

but the lord of angels whom I am. about to entertain as my guest. 
And yet there is a very great dilTerence between the ark of the 

[covenant with its relics, 
and thy most pure body with its unspeakable virtues : [come ; 

between those sacrifices of the law which were figures of things to 
and the true sacrifice of thy body which is the accomplishing of all 

[those ancient sacrifices. 
Why then do I not more ardently long for thy adorable presence, 
why do I not prepare myself with greater care to receive thy sacred 
since those holy patriarchs and prophets of old, [gifts : 

kings also and princes with the whole people, [ship? 

have shown so great affection of devotion towards thy divine wor- 

[with all his might, 

III. The most devout king David danced before the ark of God 
commemorating the benefits bestowed on the fathers in times past ; 
he made musical instruments of sundry kinds : 

he put forth psalms, 

( 379 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. I. 

et cantare instituit cum laetitia ; 

cecinit et ipse frequenter in cithara, 

Spiritus sancti afflatus gratia : 

docuit populum Israel toto corde Deum laudare ; 

et ore consono diebus singulis benedicere et praedicare. 

Si tanta agebatur tunc devotio ac divinae laudis exstitit recor- 
coram area testamenti : [datio, 

quanta nunc mihi et omni populo christiaao habenda est reverentia 

[et devotio in praesentia sacramenti, 
in sumptione excellentlssniii corporis Christi .^ 

IV. Currunt multi ad div-ersa loca pro visitandis reliquiis sanc- 
et mirantur auditis gestis eorum amplaaedificia templorum: [torum ; 

inspiciunt et osculantur sericis et auro involuta sacra ossa ipsorum ; 

et ecce tu praesens es hie apud me in altari Deus mens sanctus sanc- 

[torum creator hominum et dominus angelorum. 

Saepe in talibus videndis curiositas est hominum et novitas invi- 

[sorum : 
et modicus reportatur emendationis fructus ; 
maxima ubi est tarn levis sine vera contritione discursus. 
Hie autem in Sacramento altaris totus praesens es Deus meus homo 

[Christus Jesus: 
ubi et copiosus percipitur aeternae salutis fructus ; 
quotiescumque fueris digne ac devote susceptus. 
Ad istud vero nontrahit levitas aliquanec curiositas aufsensualitas; 
sed firma fides devota spes et sincera caritas. 

V. O invisibilis conditor mundi Deus, 
quam mirabiliter agis nobiscum : 

quam suaviter et gratiose cum electis tuis disponis ; 
quibus temet ipsum in sacramento sumendum proponis. 
Hoc namque omnem intellectum superat ; 
hoc specialiter devotorum corda trahit et accendit affectum. 
Ipsi enim veri fideles tui, 

qui totam vitam suam ad emendationem disponunt ; 
ex hoc dignissimo sacramento magnam devotionis gratiam et vir- 

[tutis amorem frequenter recipiunt. 

(• 380 ) 



Book IV. Chap. I. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and appointed them to be sung with joy ; 

lie himself likewise often sang to the harp, 

inspired with the grace of the Holy Ghost : 

he taught the people of Israel to praise God with their whole heart ; 

and to join their voices in blessing and magnifying him every day. 

If so great devotion was then used and such remembrance of the 

before the ark of the covenant : [praise of God, 

how great ought to be the reverence and devotion which I and all 

[Christian people should have in the presence of this sacrament, 

in the receiving of the all-transcending body of Christ ? 

IV. Many run to sundry places to visit the relics of the saints ; 
and are astonished to hear of their wonderful works and at the 

[spacious buildings of their churches : 

they look at and kiss their sacred bones wrapt up in silk and gold ; 

and behold thou art present here to me on the altar thou my God 

[saint of saints creator of men and lord of angels. 

Oftentimes in seeing those things men are moved with curiosity 

[and the novelty of things not yet seen : 
and but little fruit of amendment is reaped thereby ; [contrition, 
especially when men so lightly run hither and thither without true 
But here in the sacrament of the altar thou art wholly present my 

[God the man Christ Jesus : 
where also the fruit of eternal salvation is plentifully reaped ; 
as often as thou art worthily and devoutly received. 
.A.nd to this we are not drawn by any levity curiosity or by sense ; 
Ijut by a firm faith a devout hope and a sincere charity. 

V. O invisible God creator of the world, 

how wonderfully dost thou deal with us : [elect ; 

how sweetly and graciously dost thou order all things with thine 
to whom thou offerest thyself to be received in this sacrament. 
For this passes all understanding ; 

this in a particular manner attracts the hearts of the devout and en- 
For thy true faithful, [kindles their love, 

who dispose their whole life towards amendment ; 
frequently receive a great grace of devotion and love of virtue from 

[this most worthy sacrament. 

( 381 ) 



Di-: iMiTATiONE Christi. LiB. IV. Cap. I. 

\'I. O admirabilis et abscondita gratia sacramenti : 
quam norunt tantum Christi fideles ; 

infideles autem et peccatis servientes experiri non possum. 
In hoc Sacramento conferiur spirituaHs gratia: 
et reparatur in anima virtus amissa ; 
et per peccatum deformata redit pulchritude. 
Tanta est aliquando haec gratia ; 

ut ex plenitudine collatae devotionis non tantum mens sed et debile 
[corpus vires sibi praestitas sentiat ampliores. 

VII. Dolendum tamen valde et miserandum super tepiditate et 

[negligentia nostra : 
quod non majori affectione trahimur ad Christum sumendum ; 
in quo tota spes salvandorum consistit et meritum. 
Ipse enim est sanctificatio nostra et redemptio: 
ipse consolatio viatorum et sanctorum aeterna fruitio. 
Dolendum itaque valde quod multi tam parum hoc salutare mys- 
quod caelum laetificat, [terium advertunt : 

et mundum conservat universum. 

Heu caecitas et duritia cordis humani, 
tam ineffabile donum non magis attendere ; 
et ex quotidiano usu etiam ad inadvertentiam defluere. 
Si enim hoc sanctissimum sacramentum in uno tantum celebraretur 
et ab uno tantum consecraretur sacerdote in mundo : [loco, 

quanto putas desiderio ad ilium locum et ad talem Dei sacerdotem 

[homines afficerentur ; 
ut divina mysteria celebrari viderent. 
Nunc autem multi facti sunt sacerdotes, 
et in multis locis offertur Christus : 

ut tanto major appareat gratia et dilectio Dei ad hominem ; 
quanto latius est sacra communio diffusa per orbem. 

Gratias tibi Jesu bone pastor aeterne ; 
qui nos pauperes et exsules dignatus as pretioso corpore et sanguine 

[tuo reficere ; 
et ad haec mysteria percipienda etiam proprii oris tui alloquio in- 

[vitare dicendo. 

( 382) 



Book IV. Chap. 1. Of thi; Imitation of Chrlst. 

VI. O wonderful and hidden grace of this sacrament : 
which only the faithful of Christ know ; 

but which unbelievers and those who serve sin cannot experience. 

In this sacrament is conferred spiritual grace : 

the virtue lost is repaired in the soul ; 

and the beauty comes back which had been disfigured by sin. 

And so great sometimes is this grace ; 

that from the abundance of the devotion which is granted not only 

rthe mind but the frail body also feels 
fuller strength bestowed on it. 

VII. Yet it is much to be lamented and bewailed that we should 

[be so lukewarm and negligent : 
as not to be drawn with greater affection to the receiving of Christ ; 
in whom consist all the hope and the merit of those who are to be 
For he is our sanctification and redemption : [saved, 

he is the consolation of wayfarers and the eternal enjoyment of saints. 
It is therefore much to be lamented that many take so little heed 
which gladdens heaven, [to this saving mystery : 

and upholds all the world. 

Alas for the blindness and hardness of the human heart, 
which does not more consider so unspeakable a gift : 
and from daily habit even drifts down into heedlessness. 
For if this most holy sacrament were celebrated in only one place, 
and consecrated only by one priest in the world: 
with how great longing thinkest thou would men be affected 
[towards that place and to such a priest of God : 
that they might see the divine mysteries celebrated. 
But now there are made many priests, 

and Christ is offered up in many places : [greater : 

that the grace and love of God to man may appear so much the 
the more widely this holy communion is spread throughout the 

[world. 

Thanks be to thee O Jesus good shepherd continuing ever: 
who hast vouchsafed to feed us poor exiles with thy precious bodv 

[and blood ; 
and to invite us to the receiving of these mysteries with the words 

[even of thine own mouth saying. 

( 383 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. II. 

Venite ad me omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis ; 
et ego reficiam vos. 



Cap. II.— Quod Magna Bonitas et Caritas Dei in 
Sacramento Homini Exhibetur. 

vox DISCIPULI. 

I. Super bonitate tua et magna misericordia tua Domine 
accedo aeger ad Salvatorem ; [confisus, 

esuriens et sitiens ad fonteni vitae, 
egenus ad regem caeli : 
servus ad dominum, 
creatura ad creatorem : 
desolatus ad meum pium consolatorem. 

Sed unde hoc mihi : 
ut venias ad me ? 
Quis ego sum, 
ut praestes mihi te ipsum ? 
Quomodo audet peccator coram te apparere : 
et tu quomodo dignaris ad peccatorem venire ? 
Tu nosti servum tuum ; 
et scis quia nilboni in se habet, 
unde hoc illi praestes. 

Confiteor igitur vilitatem meam : 
agnosco tuam bonitatem, 
laudo pietatem ; 

et gratias ago propter nimiam caritatem. 
Propter temet ipsum enim hoc facis, 
non propter mea merita : 
ut bonitas tua mihi magis innotescat, 
caritas ampUor ingeratur ; 
et humiHtas perfectius commendetur. 
Quia ergo tibi hoc placet, 
et tu sic fieri jussisti : 

[ 384 ) 



Hook IV. Chai'. II. Ok the iMiiAnoN of Christ. 

Come to me all ye who labour and are heavy laden ; 
and I will refresh you. 



Chapter II.— That the Great Goodness and Love of 
God is Shown to Man in this Sacrament. 

the voice of the disciple. 

I. O Lord trusting in thy goodness and in thy great mercy, 
sick I come to the Saviour ; 
hungry and thirsty to the fountain of life, 
needy to the king of heaven : 
a servant to his lord, 
a creature to the creator : 
in desolation to my merciful comforter. 

But whence is this to me : 
that thou shouldest come to me? 
Who am I, , 

that thou shouldest give thyself to me ? 
How dare a sinner appear before thee : 
and how dost thou vouchsafe to come to a sinner.-' 
Thou knowest thy servant ; 

and thou knowest that he has nothing of good in himself, 
that thou shouldest grant him this favour. 

I confess therefore my unworthiness : 
I acknowledge thy bounty, 
I praise thy mercy ; 

and I give thee thanks for thy exceeding love. 
For it is of thine own mercy that thou doest this, 
not for my merits : 

in order that thy goodness may be better known to me, 
that greater love may be imparted ; 
and humility more perfectly set forth. 
Since therefore this pleases thee, 
and thou hast bidden thus : 

( 385 ) 2 c 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. II. 

placet et mihi dignatio tua ; 

et utinam iniquitas mea non obsistat. 

O dulcissime et benignissime Jesu quanta tibi reverentia et 

[gratiarum actio cum perpetua laude pro 
susceptione sacri corporis tui debetur ; 
cujus dignitatem nullus hominmn explicare potens invenitur. 
Sed quid cogitabo in hac communione in accessu ad Dominum 

[meum quern debite venerari nequeo : 
et tamen devote suscipere desidero ? 
Quid cogitabo melius et salubrius : 
nisi me ipsum totaliter humiliando coram te, 
et tuam infinitam bonitatem exaltando supra me ? 
Laudo te Deus meus et exalto in aeternum ; 
despicio me et subjicio tibi in profundum vilitatis meae. 

Ecce tu sanctus sanctorum ; 
et ego sordes peccatorum. 
Ecce tu inclinas te ad me ; 
qui non sum dignus ad te respicere. 
Ecce tu venis ad me ; 
tu vis esse mecum, 
tu invitas ad convivium tuum. 
Tu mihi dare vis caelestem cibum : 
et panem angelorum ad manducandum. 

Non alium sane quam te ipsum panem vivum qui de caelo de- 
et das vitam mundo. [scendisti ; 

Ecce unde dilectio procedit : 
qualis dignatio illucescit ; 

quam magnae gratiarum actiones et laudes tibi pro his debentar. 
O quam salutare et utile consilium tuum quum istud instituisti : 

quam suave et jucundum convivium quum te ipsum in cibum 
O quam admirabilis operatic tua Domine : [donasti. 

quam potens virtus tua ; 
quam infallibilis Veritas tua. 
Dixisti enim et facta sunt omnia ; 
et hoc factum est quod ipse jussisti. 

( 386 ) 



Book IV. Chap. II, Oi' mi; Imitation of Christ. 

thy gracious condescension pleases me also ; 

and oh that my iniquity may not stand in my way. 

O sweetest and most kind Jesus how great reverence and thanks 

with perpetual praise are due to thee 
for the receiving of thy sacred body ; 

whose dignity no man is found able to unfold. 

But what shall I think of in this communion when I am approaching 
[to my Lord whom I can never reverence as much as I ought : 

and yet whom I long to receive with devotion ? 

What can I think of better or more wholesome to my soul : 

than to humble myself entirely in thy presence, 

and extol thine infinite goodness above me? 

I praise thee my God and I e.Ktol thee for ever ; 

I despise myself and subject myself to thee casting myself down 
Behold thou art the most holy one ; ["to the depth of mine 

and I am the scum of sinners. | unworthiness. 

Behold thou bowest thyself down to me ; 

who am not worthy to look up to thee. 

Behold thou comest to me ; 

thou wiliest to be with me, 

thou invitest me to thy banquet. 

Thou wiliest to giv-e me heavenly food ; 

and the bread of angels to eat. 

Verily none other than thyself the living bread who didst come down 

and who givest life to the world. [from heaven ; 

Behold whence love proceeds : 

what condescension shines forth ; 

how great thanks and praises are due to thee for these things. 

Oh how wholesome and profitable thy design when thou didst in- 

[stitute this : 

how sweet and full of joy this banquet in which thou givest thyself 

How admirable is thy working O Lord : [to be our food. 

how mighty thy virtue ; 

how infallible thy truth. 

For thou spakest and all things were made ; 

and that was done which thou didst thyself command. 

( 387 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. III. 

Mira res et fide digna, 
ac humanum vincens intellectuni : 

quod lu Domine Deus meus verus Deus et homo sub modica specie 

[panis et vini integer contineris ; 
et sine consumptione a sumente nianducaris. 
Tu Domine universorum qui nullius habes indigentiam voluisti 

[per sacramentum tuum habitare in nobis ; 
conserva cor meum et corpus immaculatum : 

ut laeta et pura conscientia saepius tua valeam celebrare mysteria et 

[ad meam perpetuam accipere salutem ; 
quae ad tuum praecipue honorem et memoriale perenne sanxisti et 

[instituisti. 
II, Laetare anima mea et gratias age Deo pro tam nobili 
in hac lacrimarum valle tibi relicto. [munere et solatio singulari ; 
Nam quoties hoc mysterium recolis et Christi corpus accipis : 

toties tuae redemptionis opus agis ; 

et particeps omnium meritorum Christi efificeris. 

Caritas etenim Christi numquam minuitur ; 

et magnitudo propitiationis ejus numquam exhauritur. 

Ideo nova semper mentis renovatione ad hoc disponere te debes ; 

et magnum salutis mysterium attenta consideratione pensare. 

Ita magnum novum et jucundum tibi videri debet, 
quum celebras aut missam audis : 

ac si eodem die Christus primum in uterum Virginis descendens 

[homo factus esset ; 
aut in cruce pendens pro salute hominum pateretur et moreretur. 



Cap. III.— Quod Utile sit Saepe Communicare. 

vox DISCIPULL 

I. Ecce ego ad te venio Domine : 
ut bene mihi sit ex munere tuo, 

( 388 ) 



tiot)K IV. CiiAP. III. Ok TiiK Imitation of Chkist. 

It is a wonderful thing worthy of faith, 
and passing all human understanding : 

that thou O Lord my God true God and man art contained whole 
[and entire under a small appearance of bread and wine ; 
and without being consumed art eaten by him who receives thee. 
Tliou the Lord of all things who hast need of none hast willed 

[by thy sacrament to dwell in us ; 

preserve my heart and my body without stain : 

that with glad and clean conscience I may often be able to celebrate 

[thy mysteries and to receive for mine eternal salvation ; 

what thou hast ordained and instituted for thine own especial 

[honour and perpetual memorial. 

II. Be glad O my soul and give thanks to God for so noble a 

left thee in this vale of tears. [gift and so singular a solace ; 

For as often as thou renevvest this mystery and receivest the body 

[of Christ: 
so often art thou dealing with the work of thy redemption ; 
and art made partaker of all the merits of Christ. 
For the love of Christ never grows less ; 
and the greatness of his propitiation is never exhausted. 
Therefore oughtest thou to dispose thyself for this by an e\er 

[fresh renewal of thy mind ; 
and to weigh with attentive consideration the great mystery of thy 

[salvation. 
And it ought to seem to thee as great as new and as delightful, 
as often as thou sayest or hearest Mass : 

as if Christ that same day first descending into the womb of the 

[Virgin had been made man ; 
or hanging on the cross was suffering and dying for the salvation 

[of men. 



Chapter IIL— That it is Profitable to Communicate 

Ofien. 

the voice of the disciple. 

I. Behold I come to thee O Lord : 
that it may be well with me by thy gift, 

( 389 ) 



De Imitatione Chrlsti. Lib. IV. Cap. IIT. 

et laetificer in convivio sancto tuo ; 

quod parasti in dulcedine tua pauperi Deus. 

Ecce in te est totum quod desiderare possum et debeo ; 

tu salus mea et redemptio ; 

spes et fortitude, 

decus et gloria. 

Laetifica ergo hodie animam servi tui ; 
quoniam ad te Domine Jesu animam meam levavi- 
Desidero te nunc devote ac reverenter suscipere : 
cupio te in domum meam inducere : 
quatenus cum Zachaeo merear a te benedici ; 
ac inter filios Abrahae computari. 
Anima mea corpus tuum concupiscit ; 
cor meum tecum uniri desiderat. 
Trade te milii et sufficit : 
nam praeter te nulla consolatio valet. 

Sine te esse nequeo ; 
et sine visitatione tua vivere non valeo. 
Ideoque oportet me frequenter ad te accedere ; 
et in remedium salutis meae recipere : 
ne forte deficiam in via ; 
si fuero caelesti fraudatus alimonia. 

Sic enim tu misericordissime Jesu praedicans populis et varies 
aliquando dixisti. [curans languores ; 

Nolo eos jejunos dimittere in domum suam ; 
ne deficiant in via. 
Age igitur hoc mecum modo; 

qui te pro fidelium consolaLione in sacramento reliquisti. 
Tu es enim suavis refectio animae : 
et qui te digne manducaverit ; 
particeps et heres erit aeternae gloriae. 

Necessarium quidem mihi est qui tam saepe labor ct pecco, 
tarn cito torpesco et deficio : 

ut per frequentes orationes et confessiones ac sacram corporis tui 
[perceptionem me renovem mundem et accendam ; 
ne forte diutius abstinendo a sancto proposito defluam. 

( 390 ) 



Book IV. Chap. III. Of the I.mitation of Christ. 

and that I may be made glad in thy holy banquet ; 

which thou O God in thy sweetness hast prepared for the poor. 

Behold in thee is all I can or ought to desire : 

thou art my salvation and my redemption ; 

my hope and my strength, 

my honour and my glory. 

Gladden then this day the soul of thy servant ; 
because to thee O Lord Jesus do I lift up my soul. 
I long to receive thee now devoutly and reverently : 
I desire to bring thee into my house : 
that like Zacchasus I may receive thy blessing ; 
and be numbered among the children of Abraham. 
My soul longs for thy body ; 
my heart desires to be united with thee. 
Give thyself to me and it is enough ; 
for beside thee no consolation avails. 

Without thee I cannot subsist ; 
and without thy visitation I cannot live. 
And therefore it behoves me often to come to thee ; 
and receive thee for the help of my salvation : 
lest perchance I faint by the way ; 
if I be deprived of this heavenly food. 

For so most merciful Jesus when thou hadst been preaching to the 
thou wert pleased once to say. [people and curing divers diseases ; 
I will not send them away fasting to their own home ; 
lest they faint by the way. 
Deal therefore thus with me ; 

thou who hast left thyself in the sacrament for the consolation of 
For thou art the sweet refection of the soul : [the faithful, 

and he who shall have eaten thee worthily ; 
shall be partaker and heir of everlasting glory. 

It is indeed necessary for me who so often fall and sin, 
and so soon grow sluggish and faint : 

by frequent prayers and confessions and by the sacred receiving of 

[thy body to renew cleanse and inflame myself; 

lest perhaps by abstaining too long I slip away from my holy 

[purpose. 

( 391 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. III. 

Proni enim sunt sensus hominis ad malum ab adolescentia sua : 
et nisi succurrat divina medicina ; 
labitur homo mox ad pejora. 
Retrahit ergo sancta communio a malo ; 

et confortat in bono. [munico aut celebro : 

Si enim modo tarn saepe negligens sum et tepidus quando corn- 
quid fieret si medelam non sumerem et tam grande juvamen non 

[quaererem ? 
Et licet omni die non sim aptus nee ad celebrandum bene dispositus: 
dabo tamen operam congruis temporibus divina percipere mysteria : 
ac tantae gratiae participem me praebere. 

Nam haec est una principalis fidelis animae consolatio quamdiu 

[peregrinatur a te in mortali corpore; 
ut saepius memor Dei sui, 
dilectum suum devota suscipiat mente. 

II. O mira circa nos tuae pietatis dignatio : 
quod tu Domine Deus creator et vivificator omnium spirituum, 
ad pauperculam dignaris venire animam : 
et cum tota divinitate tua ac humanitate ejus impinguare esuriem. 

O felix mens et beata anima ; 
quae te Dominum Deum suum meretur devote suscipere ; 
et in tua susceptione spirituali gaudio repleri. 
O quam magnum suscipit dominum : 
quam dilectum inducit hospitem, 
quam jucundum recipit socium ; 
quam fidelem acceptat amicum ; 
quam speciosum et nobilem amplectitur sponsum ; 
prae omnibus dilectis et super omnia desiderabilia amandum. 

Sileant a facie tua dulcissime dilecte meus caelum et terra et 
quoniam quidquid laudis habent ac decoris, [omnis ornatus eorum: 
ex dignatione tuae est largitatis : 
nee ad decorem tui pervenient nominis, 
cujus sapientiae non est numerus. 



( 392 ) 



Book IV. Chap. 111. Of thk Imitation ok Christ. 

For the imagination of man's heart is prone to evil from his youth : 
and unless the divine remedy come to his aid ; 
man quickly lalls to worse. 

The holy communion therefore withdraws him from evil ; 
and strengthens him in good. [municatc or celebrate : 

For if 1 am now so often negligent and lukewarm when I com- 
what would it be if I took not this remedy and sought not so great 

[an help 'i 
And although I am not every day fit nor well disposed to celebrate: 
yet I will endeavour at fitting times to receive the divine mysteries; 
and to render myself partaker of so great a grace. 
For this is the one chief consolation of the faithful soul so long as 
[she sojourns far from thee in this mortal body ; 
being in remembrance of her God as often as she can, 
to recei\e her beloved with devout mind. 

II. O wonderful condescension of thy loving pity towards us : 
that thou Lord God the creator and the quickener of all spirits, 
shouldest vouchsafe to come to a poor soul ; 
and with thy whole divinity and humanity give so rich food to her 

O happy mind and blessed soul : [hunger, 

which is in a state to receive thee her Lord God devoutly ; 
and in receiving thee to be filled with spiritual joy. 
Oh how great a lord she entertains : 
how beloved a guest she brings into her house, 
how sweet a companion she receives ; 
how faithful a friend she welcomes ; 
how beautiful and how noble a spouse she embraces ; 
to be loved above all her beloved and beyond all that she can desire. 

Let heaven and earth with all their array be silent before thy face 
for whatever praise or comeliness they have, TO my most 

is of thy condescension and bountifulness ; [sweet beloved: 

nor can they compare with the beauty of thy name, 
of whose wisdom there is no number. 



( 393 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. IV. 



Cap. IV.— Quod Multa Bona Praestantur Devote 

COMMUNICANTIBUS. 
vox DISCIPULI. 

I. Domine Deus meus, 
praeveni serviim tuum in benedictionibus dulcedinis tuae ; 
ut ad tuum magnificum sacramentum digne ac devote merear ac- 

Excita cor meum in te ; [cedere. 

et a gravi torpore exue me. 

Visita me in salutari tuo ad gustandum in spiritu suavitatem tuam ; 
quae in hoc sacramento tamquam in fonte plenarie latet. 

Illumina quoque oculos meos ad intuendum tantum mysterium ; 
et ad credendum illud indubitata fide me robora. 
Est enim operatic tua ; 
non humana potentia : 
tua sacra institutio ; 
non hominis adinventio. 

Non enim ad haec capienda et intelligenda aliquis idoneus per se 
quae angelicam etiam subtilitatem transcendunt. [reperitur ; 

Quid ergo ego peccator indignus terra et cinis : 
de tam alto secreto potero investigare et capere? 
Domine in simplicitate cordis inei in bona firma fide et in tua 
[ jussione ad te cum spe ac reverentia accede : 

et vere credo ; 

quia tu praesens es hie in sacramento Deus et homo. 

Vis ergo ut te suscipiam ; 
et me ipsum tibi in caritate uniam. 
Unde tuam precor clementiam, 
et specialem ad hoc imploro mihi donari gratiam ; 
ut totus in te liquefiam et amore pereffluam ; 

atque de nulla aliena consolatione amplius me intromittam. 
Est enim hoc altissimum et dignissimum sacramentum, 
salus animae et corporis : 
medicina omnis spiritualis languoris ; 

( 394 ) 



Book 1\'. Chap. IV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter IV.— That Many Benefits are Bestowed upon 
Them who Communicate Devoutly. 

the voice of the disciple. 

I. O Lord my God, 
prevent thy servant in the blessings of thy sweetness ; 
that I may deserve to approach worthily and devoutly to thy glorious 

Rouse my heart towards thee ; [sacrament. 

and shake from me this heavy sluggishness. 

Visit me with thy salvation that in spirit I may taste thy sweetness ; 
which lies hidden in all its fulness in this sacrament as in a fountain. 

Lighten also mine eyes to behold so great a mystery ; 
and strengthen me to believe it with an undoubting faith. 
For it is thy working ; 
not the power of man : 
thy sacred institution ; 
not the invention of man. 

For there is found no man able of himself to know and understand 
which surpass even the keen vision of angels. [these things ; 

How shall I then an unworthy sinner who am but dust and ashes : 
be able to search into or conceive of so high a mystery ? 
O Lord in the simplicity of my heart with a good and firm faith and 

[in obedience to thy command I draw 
near to thee with hope and reverence: 
and I verily believe ; 
that thou God and man art here present in the sacrament. 

Thou wiliest then that I should receive thee ; 
and make myself one with thee in love. 
Wherefore I entreat thy mercy, 

and implore there may be bestowed on me a special grace for this ; 
that I may be wholly melted away in thee and may overflow with 

[thy love ; 
and may no more concern myself about any consolation out of thee. 
For this most lofty and most excellent sacrament is, 
the health of soul and body : 
the remedy of all spiritual languor ; 

( 395 ^ 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. C.-\p. IV. 

in quo vitia mea curantur, 

passiones frenantur : 

tentationes vincuntur, 

aut minuuntur ; 

gratia major infunditur, 

virtus incoepta augetur: 

firmatur fides, 

spes roboratur ; 

et caritas ignescit ac dilataiur. 

II. Malta namque bona largitus es et adhuc saepius largiris in 

' Sacramento diiectis tuis devote 
. communicantibus Deus meus, 
susceptor animae meae ; 
reparator infirniitatis humanae, 

et totius dator consolationis internae. [infundis : 

Nam multam ipsis consolationem adversus variam tribulationem 
et de imo dejectionis propriae ad spam tuae protectionis erigis; 

atque nova quadam gratia eos intus recreas et illustras : 

ut qui anxii primum et sine affectione se ante communionem sen- 
postea refecti cibo potuque caelesti, [serant ; 

in melius se mutatos inveniant. 

Quod idcirco cum electis tuis dispensanter agis ; 
ut veraciter agnoscant et patenter experiantur quantum infirmitatis 

[ex se ipsis habeant, 
et quid bonitatis ac gratiae ex te consequantur : 
quia ex semet ipsis frigidi duri et indevoti ; 
ex te autem ferventes alacres et devoti esse merentur. 

Ouis enim ad fontem suavitatis humiliter accedens : 
non modicum suavitatis inde reportat .'' 
Aut quis juxta copiosum ignem stans, 
non parum caloris inde percipit ? 
Et tu fons es semper plenus et superabundans ; 
ignis jugiter ardens, 
et numquamdeficiens. 

( 396 ) 



Book IV. Chap. IV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

in it my defects are healed, 

my passions restrained : 

temptations overcome, 

or lessened ; 

greater grace is infused, 

virtue once begun increased : 

faith confirmed, 

hope strengthened ; 

charity inflamed and enlarged. 

II. For thou hast bestowed and still oftentimes dost bestow 
["many good things in this sacrament to thy beloved 
[who communicate devoutly my God, 
the upholder of my soul ; 
the repairer of human infirmity, 

and the giver of all interior consolation. [their many troubles : 

For thou impartest unto them much consolation to support them in 
and thou lifcest them up from the depth of their own dejection to 

[the hope of thy protection ; 
and thou dost refresh and enlighten them inwardly with a certain 

[new grace : 
so that they who before communion were anxious and felt them- 
after being fed with this heavenly meat and drink, ["selves to be with- 
find themselves changed for the better. [out affection ; 

And thou art pleased to deal with thine elect as a wise master: 
to the end that they may truly acknowledge and plainly experience 
[how much of weakness they have in themselves, 
and what goodness and grace they obtain from thee : 
for of themselves they are cold hard and indevout ; 
but by thee they are made fervent cheerful and devout. 

For who approaching humbly to the fountain of sweetness : 
does not carry away thence some little sweetness? 
Or who standing near a great fire, 
does not receive from it some little heat? 
And thou art a fountain always full and overflowing ; 
a fire always burning, 
and never failing. 

( 397 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. IV. 

Unde si mihi non licet haurire de plenitudine fontis nee usque ad 

[satietatem potare ; 
apponam tamen os meum ad foramen caelestis fistulae : 
ut saltern modicam inde guttulam capiam ad refocillandam sitim 
et non penitus exarescam. [meam ; 

Et si necdum totus caelestis et tarn ignitus ut Cherubim et Seraphim 

[esse possum : 
conabor tamen devotioni insistere et cor meum praeparare ; 

ut vel modicam divini incendii flammam ex humili sumptione vivi- 

[fici sacramenti conquiram. 
Ouidquid autem mihi deest Jesu bone Salvator sanctissime : 
td pro me supple benigne ac gratiose ; 
qui omnes ad te dignatus es vocare dicens. 
Venite ad me omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis ; 
et ego reficiam vos. 

Ego quidem laboro in sudore vultus mei, 
dolore cordis torqueor ; 
peccatis oneror, 
tentationibus inquietor : 

multis malis passionibus implicor et premor ; 
et non est qui adjuvet, j 

non est qui liberet et salvum faciat, 
nisi tu Domine Deus Salvator mens : 
cui committo me et omnia mea ; 
ut me custodias et perducas in vitam aelernam. 
Suscipe me in laudem et gloriam nominis tui ; 
qui corpus tuum et sanguinem in cibum et potum mihi parasti. 
Praesta Domine Deus salutaris mens ; 
ut cum frequentatione mysterii tui crescat meae devotionis affectus. 



( 398 ) 



Book IV. Chap. IV. Of the Imitation ok Christ. 

Wherefore if I cannot draw out of the fuhiess of the fountain nor 

[drink my fill ; 
I will at least set my inouih to the orifice of this heavenly pipe : 
that so I may draw thence some small drop to refresh my thirst ; 
to the end that I wither not wholly away. 

And if I cannot as yet be all heavenly and all on fire like the Cheru- 

[bim and Seraphim : 
I will yet endeavour to apply myself to devotion and to prepare my 

[heart ; 
so that I may seek in the humble reception of this life-giving sacra- 
[ment some flame however small from the divine blaze. 
And whatever is lacking to me good Jesus Saviour most holy : 
do thou in thy bounty and goodness supply for me ; 
for thou hast vouchsafed to call all unto thee saying. 
Come unto me all ye who labour and are heavy laden ; 
and I will refresh you. 
I labour indeed in the sweat of my brow, 
I am tormented with sorrow of heart ; 
I am heavy laden with sins, 
I am troubled with temptations : 

and am entangled and pressed down with many evil passions ; 
and there is none to help me, 
none to deliver and save me, 
but thou Lord God my Saviour : 
to whom I commit myself and all that is mine ; 
that thou mayest keep me and bring me to everlasting life. 
Do thou receive me to the praise and glory of thy name ; 
who hast prepared thy body and blood for my meat and drink. 
Grant Lord God my Saviour ; 

that with the frequenting of thy mystery the affection of my devotion 

[may increase. 



( 399 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. V. 



Cap. v.— De Dignitate Sacramenti et Statu Sacerdotali. 

vox DILECTI. 

I. Si haberes angelicam puritatem et sancti Joannis baptisiae 

[sanctitatem ; 
non esses dignus hoc sacramentum accipere nee tractare. 
Non enimhoc meritis debetur hominum, 
quod homo consecret et tractet Christi sacramentum ; 
et sumat in cibum panem angelorum. 
Grande ministerium, 
et magna dignitas sacerdotum : 
quibus datum est quod angeUs non est concessum. 
Soh namque sacerdotes rite in ecclesia ordinati ; 
potestatem habent celebrandi et corpus Christi consccrandi. 

Sacerdos quidem minister est Dei : 
utens verbo Dei per jussionem et institutionem Dei, 
Deus autem ibi principahs est auctor et invisibihs operator : 
cui subest omne quod vohierit ; 
et paret omne quod jusserit. 

Plus ergo credere debes Deo omnipotenti in hoc excellentissimo 
quam proprio sensui aut aUcui signo visibiU. [sacramento ; 

Ideoque cum timore et reverentia ; 
ad hoc opus est accedendum 

II. Attende tibi ; 

et vide cujus ministerium tibi traditum est per impositionem manus 
Ecce sacerdos factus es ; [episcopi. 

et ad celebrandum consecratus. 

Vide nunc ut fideliter et devote in suo tempore Deo sacrificium 
et te ipsum irreprehensibilem exhibeas. [offeras ; 

Non alleviasti onus tuum ; 

sed artiori jam alHgatus es vinculo disciplinae ; 
et ad majorem teneris perfectionem sanctitatis. 

( 400 ) 



Book IV. Chap. V. Oi" thk Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter V.— Of the Dignity of the Sackament and of 
THE Priestly State. 

the voice of the beloved. 

I. If thou hadst the purity of an angel and the hoHness of Saint 

[John the Baptist ; 
thou wouldest not be worthy to receive or handle this sacrament. 
For this is not due to any merits of men, 

that a man should consecrate and handle the sacrament of Christ ; 
and receive for his food the bread of angels. 
Lofty is the ministry. 
and great the dignity of priests : 

to whom that is given which has not been granted to angels. 
For priests alone duly ordained in the Church ; 
have power to celebrate and consecrate the body of Christ. 

The priest indeed is the minister of God ; 
using the word of God at the bidding and appointment of God, 
but God himself is there the principal author and the invisible 
to whom is subject all that he wills : [worker : 

and to whose command every thing is obedient. 
Thou must therefore rather trust God the .Almighty in this most ex- 
than thine own sense or any visible sign. [cellent sacrament : 

And therefore with fear and reverence ; 
thou art to draw near to this work. 

II. Take heed to thyself ; 

and see whose ministry has been delivered to thee by the laying on 
Lo thou hast been made a priest ; [of hands of the bishop, 

and consecrated that thou mightest celebrate. 
See now that at fitting time thou faithfully and devoutly offer up 
and that thou show thyself to be blameless. [sacrifice to God ; 

Thou hast not lightened thy burthen ; 
but art now tied fast with a stricter band of discipline ; 
and art bound to a greater perfection of sanctity. 

( 401 ) 2D 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. \'I. 

Sacerdos omnibus virtutibus debet esse ornatus ; 

et aliis bonae vitae exemplum praebere. 

Ejus conversatio non cum popularibus et communibus hominum viis ; 

sed cum angelis in caelo, 

aut cum perfectis viris in terra. 

Sacerdos sacris vestibus indutus Christi vices gerit; 
ut Deum pro se et pro omni populo suppliciter et humiliter roget, 

Habet ante se et retro dominicae crucis signum ; 
ad memorandam jugiter Christi passionem. 
Ante se crucem in casula portat ; 

ut Christi vestigia diligenter inspiciat et sequi ferventer studeat. 
Post se cruce signatus est ; 

ut adversa quaehbet ab aliis illata clementer pro Deo toleret. 
Ante se crucem gerit ; 
ut propria peccata lugeat, 
post se, 

ut aliorum etiam commissa per compassionem defleat : 
et se medium inter Deum et peccatorem constitutum esse sciat : 
nee ab oratione et oblatione sancta torpescat ; 
donee gratiam et misericordiam impetrare mereatun 

Quando sacerdos celebrat Deum honorat ; 
angelos laetificat, 
ecclesiam aedihcat ; 
vivos adjuvat, 

defunctis requiem praestat ; 
et sese omnium bonorimi participem efficit. 



Cap. VI. Interrogatio de Exercitio ante Communionem. 

vox DISCIPULI. 

Ouum tuam dignitatem Domine et meam vilitatem penso ; 

( 402 ) 



Book IV. Ciiak VI. Oi-- thic Imitation of Ciikist. 

A priest ought to be adorned with all virtues ; 

and to give the example of a good life to others. 

His conversation should not be witli the vulgar and common ways 

but with the angels in heaven, [ot men ; 

or with perfect men upon earth. 

A priest clad in his sacred vestments holds the place of Christ ; 
to pray to God for himself and for all the people in a suppliant and 

[humble manner. 

He bears before and behind the sign of his Lord's cross ; 
that he may always remember the passion of Christ. 
He bears the cross before him on his chasuble ; 
that he may diligently behold the footsteps of Christ and fervently 
He is marked with the cross behind ; [endeavour to follow him. 
that he may meekly sufter for God whatsoever adversities may be- 
He wears the cross before him ; [fall him from others, 

that he may bewail his own sins, 
and behind him, 

ihat he may through compassion lament the sins of others ; 
and know that he is appointed to stand between God and the sinner : 
and not be slothful in prayer and the holy oblation ; 
until it is granted him to obtain grace and mercy. 

When the priest celebrates he honours God ; 
he rejoices the angels, 
he edifies the church ; 
he helps the living, 
he obtains rest for the dead ; 
and makes himself partaker of all good things. 



Chap'J'kr VI.— An Inquiry concerning the Exerclse 

PROPER BEl-ORE COMMUNION. 
IHE VOICE OF THE DISCIPLE. 

When I consider thy greatness O Lord aixl my own vileness ; 

(, 403 ' 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib- IV. Cap. V'II. 

valde contremisco, 

et in me ipso confundor. 

Si enim non accedo, 

vitam fugio : 

et si indigne me ingessero ; 

offensam incurro. 

Quid ergo faciam Deus meus : 

auxiliator meus et consiliator in necessitatibus ? 

Tu doce me viam rectam : 
propone breve aliquod exercitium ; 
sacrae communioni congruum. 
Utile est enim scire, 

qualiter scilicet devote ac reverenter tibi praeparare debeam cor 
ad recipiendum salubriter tuum sacramentum ; [meum, 

seu etiam celebrandum tarn magnum et divinum sacrificium. 



Cap. VII.— De Discussione propriae Conscientiae et 
Emendationis Proposito. 

vox DILECTI. 

I. Super omnia cum summa humilitate cordis et siipplici rever- 
cum plena fide et pia intentione honoris Dei ; [entia, 

ad hoc sacramentum celebrandum tractandum. 
et sumendum oportet Dei accedere sacerdotem. 

Diligenter examina conscientiam tuam ; 
et pro posse tuo vera contritione et humili confessione eam munda 
ita ut nil grave habeas aut scias quod te remordeat ; [et clarifica : 
ct liberum accessum impediat. 

Habeas displiccntiam omnium peccatorum tuorum in generali ; 
ct pro quotidianis excessibus magis in special! doleas et gemas. 
Et si tempus patitur ; 

Deo in secreto cordis cunctas confitere passionum tuarum miserias. 
Ingcmisce et dole quod adhuc ita carnalis sis et mundanus : 

( 404 ) 



Book IV. Chap. VII. Of the Imitatig.n of Christ. 

I tremble exceedingly, 

and am confounded in myself. 

For if I come not, 

I fly from life : 

and if I intrude unworthily ; 

I incur th}- displeasure. 

What then shall I do my God : 

my helper and my counsellor in necessities ? 

Do thou teach me the right way : 
appoint me some short exercise ; 
proper for holy communion. 
For it is useful to know, 

in what manner I should reverently and devoutly prepare my heart 
for the receiving of thy sacrament to my soul's health; . [for thee, 
or even for celebrating so great and divine a sacrifice. 



Chapter VII.— Of the Examination of our own Con- 

SCIENXE and of A RESOLUTION OF AMENDMENT. 
THE VOICE OF THE BELOVED. 

[reverence, 
I. Above all things with the greatest humility of heart and holy 

with full faith and a pious intention of the honour of God ; 

to the celebrating handling and receiving of this sacrament, 

it behoves the priest of God to come. 
Diligently e.xamine thy conscience ; [and humble confession : 

and to the best of thy power cleanse and purify it by true contrition 

so as not to have or know of any thing to give thee remorse ; 

and hinder thy free access. 

Conceive a sorrow for all thy sins in general ; 

and more in particular lament and grieve for thy daily offences. 

And if time allow ; 

confess to God in the secret of thy heart all the miseries of thy 

Sigh and grieve that thou art yet so carnal and worldly : [passions. 

( 405 ) 



Dk Imitatione Chkisti. Lib. IV. Cap. VII. 

tarn irnmortificatus a passionibus ; 

tarn plenus concupiscentiarum motibus, 

tarn incustoditus in sensibus exterioribiis : 

tarn saepe multis vanis phantasiis implicatus ; 

tarn multum inclinatus ad exteriora, 

tarn negligens ad interiora : 

tarn levis ad risum et dissolutionem ; 

tarn durus ad fietuni et compunctionem : 

tarn promptus ad laxiora et carnis commoda ; 

tarn segnis ad rigorem et fervorem : 

tarn curiosus ad nova audienda et pulchra intuenda ; 

tarn remissus ad humilia et abjecta amplectenda : 

tani cupidus ad multa habenda ; 

tarn parous ad dandum, 

tarn tenax ad retinendum : 

tarn inconsideratus in loquendo ; 

tarn incontinens in tacendo : 

tam incompositus in moribus tarn importunus in actibus ; 

tarn effusus super cibum, 

tam surdus ad Dei verbum : 

tam velox ad quietem tam tardus ad laborem ; 

tam vigilans ad fabulas, 

tam somnolentus ad vigilias sacras : 

tam festinus ad finem, 

tam vagus ad attendendum ; 

tam negligens in horis persolvendis, 

tam tepidus in celebrando, 

tam aridus in communicando : 

tam cito distractus, 

tam raro plene tibi collectus ; 

tam subito commotus ad iram, 

tam facilis ad alterius displicentiam: 

tam pronus ad judicandum, 

tam rigidus ad arguendum : 

tam laetus ad prospera, 

tam debilis in adversis : 

tam saepe multa bona proponens ; 

( 406 ) 



Book IV, Chap. VII. Of thk Imitation of Christ. 

so unmortified from passions ; 

so full of the motions of lusts, 

so unguarded in thine outward senses: 

so often entangled with many vain imaginings : 

so much inclined to things without, 

so negligent of those within : 

so ready for laughter and frivolity ; 

so hard to tears and compunction : 

so disposed to relaxation and bodily comforts ; 

so sluggish to austerity and fervour : 

so curious to hear news and to see fine sights ; 

so remiss to embrace things humble and abject : 

so covetous to possess many things ; 

so sparing in giving, 

so tenacious m retaining : 

so thoughtless in speaking ; 

so unable to hold thy peace : 

so indecorous in thy habits so over-eager in thy actions ; 

so greedy at meals, 

so deaf to the word of God : 

so quick to rest so slow to labour ; 

so wakeful for idle tales, 

so drowsy at holy vigils : 

so hasty to make an end, 

so wandering in attention : 

so negligent in saying office, 

so lukewarm in celebrating, 

so dry at communion : 

so quickly distracted, 

so seldom fully recollected within thyself; 

so easily moved to anger. 

so apt to take otlence at others : 

so prone to judge, 

so harsh in rebuking ; 

so glad in prosperity, 

so weak in adversity : 

so often proposing many good things ; 

(. 407 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. VIII. 

et modicum ad effectum perducens. 

His et aliis defectibus tuis cum dolore et magna displicentia pro- 

[priae infirmitatis confessis ac deploratis : 
firmum statue propositum semper emendandi vitam tuam ; 
et in melius proficiendi. 

Deinde cum plena resignatione et Integra voluntate offer teipsum 

j in honorem nominis mei in ara cor- 
[dis tui holocaustum perpetuum; 
corpus tuum scilicet et animam mihi tideliter committendo : 
quatenus et sic digne merearis ad ofterendum Deo sacrificium ac- 
et sacramentum corporis mei salubriter suscipere. [cedere ; 

[diluendis ; 

II. Non est enim oblatio dignior et satisfactio major pro peccatis 
quam se ipsum pure et integre cum oblatione corporis Christi in 
Si fecerit homo quod in se est, fmissa et in commu- 

et vere poenituerit : [nione Deo offerre. 

quotiescumque pro venia et gratia ad me accesserit ; 
vivo ego dicit Dominus qui nolo mortem peccatoris, 
sed magis ut convertatur et vivat : 
quoniam peccatorum suorum non recordabor amplius ; 
sed cuwcta sibi indulta crunt. 



Cap. VIII.— De Oblatione Christi in Cruce et Propria 

Resignations. 

vox DILECTI 

Sicut ego me ipsum, [Patri sponte obtuli : 

expansis in cruce manibus et nudo corpore pro peccatis tuis Deo 
ita ut nihil in me remaneret quin totum in sacriticium divinae pla- 

[cationis transiret ; 
ita debes et tu temet ipsum mihi voluntarie in oblationem puram 

tet sanctam quotidie in missa cum omnibus viribus 
et affectibus tuis quanto intimius vales offerre. 
Quid magis a te requiro : 

( 408 ) 



Book IV. Chap. VIII. Of the Imit.\tion of Christ. 

and carrying so little into effect. 

Having confessed and bewailed these and other thy defects with 
[sorrow and a great displeasure at thine own weakness : 
make a lam resolution to be always amending thy life ; 
and advancing in goodness. 

Then with entire resignation and the full force of thy will offer 

[thyself up to the honour of my name on the altai 
of thy heart as a perpetual whole burnt-offering ; 
by committing faithfully to me both thy body and soul : 
if so be thou be thus deemed worthy to draw near to offer sacrifice 
and to receive for thy health the sacrament of my body, [to God ; 

[for the washing away of sins ; 
II. For there is no oblation more worthy nor satisfaction greater 
than to offer up thyself purely and entirely to God together with the 
If a man does what lies in him, ("oblation of the body of Christ in 
and is truly penitent : [the Mass and in communion, 

as often as he shall come to me for pardon and grace ; 
I am the living God saith the Lord who desires not the death of the 
but rather that he should be converted and live : [sinner, 

for I will no longer remember his sins ; 
but all shall be forgiven him. 



Chapter \'III.— Of the Gelation of Christ on thf. Cross 
AND of the Resignation of Ourselves. 

THE VOICE of the liELOVED. 

.'\s I offered myself, [of my own will to God the Father for thy sins : 
with hands outstretched upon the cross with body stripped and bare 
so that nothing remained in me which was not turned into a sacrifice 

[of divine propitiation ; 
even so must thou also willingly offer thyself to me day by day in the 

[Mass as a pure and holy oblation together with all thy powers 
and affections with all the inward devotion that thou canst. 
What do I require more of thee : 

( 409 ) 



De Imitatio.ne Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. IX. 

quam ut te studeas mihi ex integro resignare? 

Quidquid praeter te ipsum das nihil euro ; 

quia non quaero datum tuum sed te. 

Sicut non sufificeret tibi omnibus habitis praeter me : 

ita nee mihi plaeere poterit quidquid dederis te non oblato. 

Offer te mihi, 

et da te totum pro Deo ; 

et erit accepta oblatio. 

Ecce ego me totum obtuli Patri pro te : 

dedi etiam totum corpus meum et sanguinem in eibum : 

ut totus tuus essem ; 

et tu mens permaneres. 

.Si autem in te ipso steteris nee sponte te ad voluntatem meam ob- 

non est plena oblatio ; [tuleris : 

nee integra erit inter nos unio. 

Igitur omnia opera tua praeeedere debet spontanea tui ipsius in 
si libertatem eonsequi vis et gratiam. [manus Dei oblatio ; 

Ideo enim tam pauci illuminati et liberi intus efficiuntur ; 
quia se ipsos ex toto abnegare nesciunt. 

Est firma sententia mea : 
nisi quis renunciaverit omnibus ; 
non potest mens esse discipulus. 
Tu ergo si optas mens esse discipulus ; 
offer te ipsum mihi cum omnibus affeetibus tuis. 



Cap. IX.— Quod Nos et omnia Nostra Deo debemus 
Offerre et pro Omnibus Orare. 

vox discipuli. 

I. Domine, 

omnia tua sunt ; 

quae in eaelo sunt et quae in terra. 

Desidero me ipsum tibi in spontaneam oblationem offerre ; 
et tuus perpetue permanere. 

Domine in simphcitate cordis mei offero me ipsum tibi hodie in 

/ Q \ [servum sempiternum ; 



Book IV. Chap. IX. Ok thk Imitatjon of Ciiiust. 

than that thou shouldest make it thine aim to resign thyself wholly 

Whatsoever thou givest besides thyself I regard not ; [to me.^ 

for I seek not thy gift but tliee. 

As it would not suffice thee if thou hadst all things but me ; 

so neither can it please me whatever thou givest so long as thou 

Offer thyself to me, [ofterest not tliyself 

and give thyself wholly for God ; 

and thy offering will be accepted. 

Behold I offered myself wholly to the Father for thee ; 

I have moreover given my whole body and blood for thj- food : 

that I might be all thine ; 

and that thou mightest remain for ever mine. [freely to my will : 

But if thou wilt stand upon thine own self and wilt not offer thyself 

thine offering is not perfect ; fhands of God : 

nor will the union between us be entire. [thyself into the 

Therefore before all thy works thou must make a free oblation of 
if thou desirest to obtain liberty and grace. 
For hence so few become enlightened and inwardly free ; 
because they do not wholly renounce themselves. 

My sentence stands firm : 
unless a man renounce all ; 
he cannot be my disciple. 

Therefore do thou if thou desire to be my disciple ; 
offer up thyself to me with all thine affections. 



Chapter IX.— That we must Offer Ourselves and all 
THAT IS Ours to God and Pray for all. 

the voice of the disciple. 
I. Lord, 

all things are thine ; 

which are in heaven and which are in earth. 

I desire to offer up myself to thee as a voluntary oblation ; 

and to remain for ever thine. 

Lord in the simplicity of my heart I offer myself to thee this day to 

( 411 ) ['^^ thy servant evermore ; 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cai>. IX. 

in obsequium et in sacrificium laudis perpetuae. 

Suscipe me cum hac sancta oblatione tui pretiosi corporis : 

quam tibi hodie in praesentia angelorum invisibiliter assistentium 

ut sit pro me et pro cuncto populo tuo in salutem. [ofTero ; 

II. Domine offero tibi omnia peccata et delicta mea quae com- 

"misi coram te et Sanctis angelis tuis a die quo primum per- 
care potui usque ad horam banc super placabili altari 
tuo ; 

ut tu omnia pariter incendas et comburas igne caritatis tuae, 

et deleas universas maculas peccatorum meorum et conscientiam 

[meam ab omni delicto emundes : 

et restituas mihi gratiam tuam quam peccando amisi, 

omnia mihi plene indulgendo ; 

et in osculum pacis me misericorditer assumendo. 

Quid possum agere pro peccatis meis nisi humiliter ea confitendo 

et tuam propitiationem incessanter deprecando ? [et lamentando : 

Deprecor te exaudi me propitius ; 

ubi asto coram te Deus mens. 

Omnia peccata mea mihi maxime displicent ; 

nolo ea umquam amplius perpetrare : 

^ed pro eis doleo et dolebo quamdiu vixero ; 

]jaratus poenitentiam agerc, 

et pro posse satisfacere. 

Dimitte mihi Deus dimitte mihi peccata mea propter nonien sanctum 

salva animam meam quam pretioso sanguine tuo redemisti. [tuum ; 

Ecce committo me misericordiae tuae : 

rcsigno me manibus tuis ; 

age mecum secundum bonitatem tuam non secundum meam mali- 

[tiam et iniquitatem. 

III. Offoro eliam tibi omnia bona mea quamvis valde pauca et 
r.t tu ea emendes et sanctifices ; [imperfecta : 
ut ea grata habeas et accepta tibi facias : 

et semper ad meliora trahas ; 

nee non ad beatum ac laudabilem finem me pigrum et inutilem 

[homuncionem perducas. 

( 412 ) 



Book IV. Chap. IX. Of the Imitation <ji Ciikist. 

to obey thee and to become a bacrifice of perpetual praise. 
Receive me with this sacred oblation of thy precious body : 
which I offer to thee this day in the presence of thine angels invisibly 
that it may be for salvation to nic and all thy people, [standing by ; 

II. Lord I offer to thee all my sins and offences whicli I have 
"committed in thy sight and in that of thy hoi}- 
angels from the day when I was first able to sin 
until this hour upon thine altar of propitiation ; 
that thou mayest burn and consume them all with the fire of thy love, 
and mayest wipe away every stain of my sins and cleanse my con 

[science from every fault • 
and mayest restore to me thy grace which I have lost by sin, 
by fully pardoning all ; 
and receiving me in thy mercy to the kiss of peace. 

What can I do for my sins but humbly confess and lament tlicni : 
and without ceasing mplore thy mercy? 
Hear me I beseech thee in thy mercy ; 
where I stand before thee my God. 
All my sins grieve me exceedingly : 
1 will never commit them more : 

I am sorry for them and will be sorry for them as long as I live ; 
I am ready to do penance for them, 
and to make satisfaction to the utmost of niy power. 
Forgive my God forgive me my sins for thy holy name ; 
save my soul which thou hast redeemed with thy precious bloiul. 
Behold I commit myself to thy mercy : 
I resign myself into thy hands ; 

deal with me according to thy goodness not according to my wicked- 

[ness and iniquity, 

III. I offer also to thee all the good I have very small and imper- 
that thou mayest make it better and sanctify it ; [feet though it be : 
that thou mayest be pleased with it and make it acceptable to thee -. 
and ever perfect it more and more ; 

and that thou mayest moreover bring me a slothful and unprofit- 

[able creature to a good and happy end. 

( 413 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. IX. 

IV. Offero quoque tibi omnia pia desideria devotorum : 
necessitates parentum, 

amicorum fratrum, 

sororum omniumque carorum meorum, 

et eorum qui mihi vel aliis propter amorem tuum benefecerunt ; 
et qui orationes et missas pro se suisque omnibus dici a me desi- 

[deraverunt et petierunt : 
sive in carne adhuc vivant sive jam saeculo defuncti sint ; 

ut omnes sibi au.xilium gratiae tuae, 
opem consolationis, 
protectionem a periculis, 
liberationem a poenis advenire sentiant : 
et ut ab omnibus malis erepti : 
gratias tibi magnificas laeti persolvant. 

V. Offero etiam tibi preces et hostias placationis, 

pro illis specialiter qui me in aliquo laeserunt contristaverunt aut 
vel aliquod damnum vel gravamen intulerunt : [vituperaverunt, 
pro his quoque omnibus quos aliquando contristavi conturbavi 

[gravavi et scandalizavi verbis 
factis scienter vel ignoranter ; 
ut nobis omnibus pariter indulgeas peccata nostra et mutuas offen- 

[siones. 

Aufer Domine a cordibus nostris omnem suspicionem indigna- 

et quidquid potest caritatem laedere ; ftionem iram et 

et fraternam dilectionem minuere. tdisceptationem : 

Miserere miserere Domine, 
misericordiam tuam poscentibus, 
da gratiam indigentibus : 
et fac nos tales exsistere, 
ut simus digni gratia tua perfrui ; 
et ad vitam proticiamus aeternam. 

Amen. 



( 4H ) 



Book IV. Chap. IX. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

IV. I offer to thee also all tlie jjious desires of thy devout 
the needs of my parents. [servants : 
friends l)rcthren, 

sisters and all who are dear lo me, [love of thee: 

and of all those who have been benefactors to me or others for the 
or who have desired and begged me to offer up prayers and Masses 

[for themselves and all belonging to them : 
whether they live still in the flesh or whether they are already dc- 

[parted out of the world ; 
that they may all feel that there comes to them the assistance of thy 
the benefit of thy consolation, [grace, 

protection from dangers, 
and deliverance from their pains : 
and that being freed from all evils ; 
they may with joy give exceeding great thanks to thee. 

[lion. 

V. I oft'er up also to thee my prayers and sacrifices of propitia- 
for those in particular who have in any thing wronged grieved or 
or have done me any damage or displeasure : [reviled me, 
and for all those likewise whom I have at any time grieved troubled 

[injured and scandalized by word or 
deed knowingly or unknowingly ; 
that it may please thee to forgive us all alike our sins and offences 

[one against another. 
Take Lord from our hearts all jealousy indignation wrath and 
and whatsoever may wound charity ; [contention : 

and lessen brotherly love. 

Have mercy Lord have mercy, 
on those who crave thy mercy, 
give grace to those who stand in need thereof : 
and grant that we, 
may be worthy to enjoy thy grace ; 
and t1iat we may attain to life everlasting. 

Amen. 



(4T5) 



Dii Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. X. 



Cap. X.— Quod Sacra Communio de Facili Non est 
Relinquenda. 

vox DILECTI. 

I. Frequenter recurrendum est ad fontem gratiae, 
et divinae misericordiae; 
ad fontem bonitatis et totius puritatis : 
quatenus a passionibus tuis et vitiis curari valeas ; 
et contra universas tentationes et fallacias diaboli fortior atque 

[vigilantior effici merearis. 

Inimicus sciens fructum et remedium maximum in sacra com- 

[munione positum ; 
omni modo et occasione nititur fideles et devotos quantum praevalet 

[retrahere et impedire. 
Ouum enim quidam sacrae communioni se aptare disponunt ; 
pejores satanae immissiones patiuntur. 
Ipse enim nequam spiritus, 

ut in Job scribitur venit inter filios Dei ; [perplexos : 

ut solita illos nequitia sua perturbet aut timidos nimium reddat et 
quatenus affectum eorum minuat vel fidem impugnando auferat ; 
si forte aut omnino communionem relinquant, 
aut cum tepore accedant. 

Sed non est quidquam curandum de versutiis et phantasiis illius 

[quantumlibet turpibus et horridis ; 
sed cuncta phantasmata in caput ejus sunt retorquenda. 
Contemnendus est miser et deridendus : 
nee propter insultus ejus et commotiones quas suscitat ; 
sacra est omittenda communio. 

Saepe etiam impedit nimia sollicitudo pro devotione habenda ; 
et anxietas quaedam de confessione facienda. 
Age secundum consilium sapientum, 
et depone anxietatem et scrupulum : 
quia gratiam Dei impedit ; 

(416) 



Book IV. Chap. X. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter X.— That the Holy Communion is Not Lightly 

TO BE Forborne. 

the voice of the beloved. 

I. Thou oughtest often to have recourse to the fountain of grace, 
and of divine mercy ; 

to the fountain of goodness and all purity : 
that thou mayest be healed of thy passions and vices ; 
and mayest deserve to be made more strong and watchful against 

[all the temptations and wiles of the devil. 

The enemy knowing the very great advantage and remedy which 

[is laid up in the holy communion ; 
strives by all means and occasions as much as he is able to with- 
[draw and hinder faithful and devout men from it. 
For when some are disposing themselves to prepare for holy com- 
they suffer the greater assaults of Satan. [munion ; 

This wicked spirit, 

as it is written in Job comes amongst the sons of God; [and perplexed: 
to trouble them witli his wonted malice or to make them over fearful 
that so he may lessen their devotion or by his assaults take away 
if haply they may altogether forbear communion, [their faith ; 

or at least draw near with little fervour. 

But there is no regard to be had to his wiles and suggestions be 

[they ever so filthy and abominable ; 
but all his delusions are to be turned back upon his own head. 
The wretch is to be contemned and scurned : 

nor on account of his assaults and the commotions which he excites ; 
is the holy communion to be omitted. 

[obtaining devotion ; 
Oftentimes also a man is hindered by too great a solicitude for 
and a certain anxiety about the confession he has to make. 
Follow herein the counsel of the wise, 
and put away all anxiety and scruple : 
for it hinders the grace of God ; 

( 417 ) 2 E 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. X. 

et devotionem mentis destruit. 

Propter aliquam parvam turbationem vel gravitatem, 
sacram ne dimittas communionem : 
sed vade citius confiteri ; 
et omnes offensiones aliis libenter indulge. 
Si vero tu aliquem offendisti : 
veniam humiliter precare ; 
et Deus libenter indulgebit tibi. 

II. Quid prodest diu tardare confessionem : 
aut sacram dififerre communionem ? 
Expurga te cumprimis ; 
exspue velociter venenum, 
festina accipere remedium ; 
et senties melius quam si diu distuleris. 
Si hodie propter istud dimittis, 
eras forsitan aliud majus eveniet : 
et sic diu posses a communione impediri ; 
et magis ineptus fieri. 

Quanto citius vales a praesenti gravitate et inertia te excutias ; 
quia nihil importat diu anxiari diu cum turbatione transire ; 
et ob quotidiana obstacula se a divinis sequestrare. 
Immo plurimum nocet diu communionem protelare ; 
nam et gravem torporem consuevit inducere. 

Proh dolor quidam tepidi et dissoluti moras confitendi libenter 
et communionem sacram idcirco differri cupiunt ; [accipiunt : 

ne :id majorem sui custodiam se dare teneantur. 
Heu quam modicani caritatem et debilem devotionem habent; 
qui sacram communionem tam faciliter postponunt. 

Quam felix ille et Deo acceptus habetur ; 
qui sic vivit et in tali puritate conscientiam suam custodit : 
ut etiam omni die communicare paratus et bene at^'ectatus esset ; 
si ei liceret, 
et sine nota agere posset. 

Si quis interdum abstinet humilitatis gratia aut legitima impe- 
laudandus est de reverentia. [diente causa ; 

(418) 



Book IV. Chap. X. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and destroys devotion of mind. 

For any small trouble and vexation, 
leave not holy communion : 
but go promptly to confession ; 

and willingly forgive others their offences against thee. 
And if thou hast offended any one : 
humbly crave pardon ; 
and God will readily forgive thee. 

II. What avails it to delay thy confession for a long time : 
or to put off holy communion ? 
Cleanse thyself thoroughly ; 
spit out the venom presently, 
make haste to take this remedy ; 

and thou shalt find it better for thee than if thou hadst deferred it 
If thou lettest it alone to-day for this cause, [for a long time, 

perhaps to-morrow a greater will fall out : 
and so thou mayest be hindered a long time from communion ; 
and become more unfit. 

With all possible speed shake off this heaviness and sloth; [in trouble; 
foritistono purpose to continue longinuneasiness to pass a longtime 
and for these daily impediments to absent thyself froni the divine 
Yea it is very hurtful to defer holy communion long ; [mysteries, 
for this usually causes great lukewarmness. [their confession : 

Alas some lukewarm and frivolous persons are willing to put off 
and desire that their communion should be deferred ; 
lest they should be obliged thereby to keep a stricter watch over 
Ah how little is their love how weak is their devotion ; [themselves, 
who so easily put off holy communion. 

How happy is he and acceptable to God ; 
who so lives and keeps his conscience in such purity : 
as to be ready and well disposed to communicate even daily ; 
if it were permitted, 
and he might do it without being noticed. 

If a man abstain now and then out of humility or by reason of 
he is to be commended for his reverence, [some lawful impediment ; 

( 419 ) 



De Lmitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XI. 

Si autein torpor obrepserit : 

se ipsum excitare debet et facere quod in se est; 

et Dominus adeiit desiderio sue pro bona voluntate quam specialiter 

Quum vero legitime praepeditus est, [respicit. 

habebit semper bonam voluntatem et piam intentionem communi- 

et sic non carebit fructu sacramenti. [candi ; 

Potest enim quilibet devotus omni die et omni hora ad spiritualem 

[Christi communionem salubriter 
et sine prohibitione accedere ; 
et tamen certis diebus et statuto tempore corpus sui Redemptoris, 
cum aftectuosa reverentia sacramentaliter debet suscipere : 

et magis laudem Dei et honorem praetendere, 

quam suam consolationem quaerere. 

Nam toties mystice communicat et invisibiliter reficitur : 

quoties incarnationis Christi mysterium passionemque devote re- 

et in amore ejus accenditur. [colit ; 

Qui aliter se non praeparat, 
nisi instante festo vel consuetudine compellente ; 
saepius imparatus erit. 

Beatus qui se Domino in holocaustum offert ; 
quoties celebrat aut communicat. 

Non sis in celebrando nimis prolixus aut festinus ; 
sed serva bonum communem modum cum quibus vivis. 
Non debes ahis generare molestiam et taedium : 
sed communem servare viam secundum majorum institutionem ; 
et potius aliorum servire utilitati quam propriaedevotioni vel affectui. 



Cap. XL— Quod Corpus Christi et Sacra Scriptura 

MAXIME SINT ANIMAE FIDELI NECESSARIA. 
VOX DISCIPULI. 

I. O dulcissime Domine Jesu quanta est dulcedo devotae animae 

[tecum epulantis in convivio tuo; 

( 420 ) 



Book IV. Chai'. XI. Of tiik Imitation of Christ. 

But if sloth steal upon him : 
he must bestir himself and do what lies in him ; 
and the Lord will assist his desire for the sake of that good inten- 
And when he is lawfully hindered, [tion which he specially regards, 
he will yet always have a good will and pious intention to commu- 
and so he shall not lose the fruit of the sacrament. [nicate ; 

For every devout man may every day and every hour come to receive 

["Christ spiritually without any prohibi- 
Ltion and with great profit to his soul ; 
and yet on certain days and at the times appointed, 
he ouglit with an affectionate reverence to receive sacramentally 

[the body of his Redeemer : 
and rather to make the praise and honour of God the motive, 
than to seek his own consolation. 
For he communicates mystically and is invisibly fed : 
as often as he devoutly calls to mind the mystery of the incarnation 
and is inflamed with the love of him. [and passion of Christ ; 

He who prepares himself, 
only when a festival draws near or when custom compels him there- 
will often be unprepared. [unto ; 

Blessed is he who offers himself up as a whole burnt offering to 
as often as he celebrates or communicates. [the Lord ; 

Be neither too long nor too hasty in celebrating; 
but observe the good common way of those with whom thou livest. 
Thou oughtest not to cause inconvenience or weariness to others : 
but to keep the common wayaccording to theappointment of superiors; 
and rather to consult the profit of others than thine own devotion or 

[inclination. 



Chapter XI.— That the Body of Christ and the Holy 
Scriptures are most necessary to a Faithful Soul. 

the voice of the disciple. 

I. O sweetest Lord Jesus how great sweetness has a devout soul 

[who feasts with thee in thy banquet: 

( 421 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XI. 

ubi ei non rJius cibus manducandus proponitur ; 
nisi tu unicus dilectus ejus, 
super omnia desideria cordis ejus desiderabilis. 
Et milii quidem dulce foret in praesentia tua ex intimo affectu 

[lacrimas fundere ; 
et cum pia Magdalena pedes tuos lacrimis irrigare. 
Sed ubi est haec devotio : 
ubi lacrimarum sanctarum copiosa effusio ? 

Certe in conspectu tuo, 
et sanctorum angelorum tuorum totum cor meum ardere deberet ; 
et ex gaudio flere. 

Habeo enim te in sacramento vere praesentem ; 
quamvis aliena specie occultatum. 
Nam in propria et divina clarilate te conspicere, 
oculi mei ferre non possent ; 

sed neque totus mundus in fulgore gloriae majestatis tuae sub- 
In hoc ergo imbecillitati meae consulis ; [sisteret. 
quod te sub sacramento abscondis. 
Habeo vere et adoro quern angeli adorant in caelo : 
sed ego adhuc interim in fide ; 
illi autem in specie et sine velamine. 

Me oportet contentum esse in lumine verae fidei, 
et in ea ambulare donee aspiret dies aeternae rlaritatis ; 
et umbrae figurarum inclinentur. 
Quum autem venerit quod perfectum est, 
cessabit usus sacramentorum : 
quia beati in gloria caelesti, 
non egent medicamine sacramental! ; 
gaudent enim sine fine in praesentia Dei, 
facie ad faciem gloriam ejus speculantes : 
et de claritate in claritatem abyssalis Deitatis transformati, 
gustant Verbum Dei caro factum sicut fuit ab initio et manet in 

[aeternum. 

Memor horum mirabilium, 
grave mihi fit taedium etiam quodlibet spirituale solatium : 
quia quamdiu Doniinum meum aperte in sua gloria non video ; 
pro niliilo duco omne quod in mundo conspicio et audio. 

( 422 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XI. Of thk Imitation of Cukist. 

where there is no other food set before her to be eaten ; 
but thyself her only beloved, 

and most to be desired above all the desires of her heart. 
And to me indeed it would be delightful to pour out tears in thy 
[presence from the inmost affection of my heart ; 
and like the pious Magdalen to wash thy feet with tears. 
But where is this devotion : 
where is this plentiful shedding of holy tears? 

Surely in thy sight, 
and in that of thy holy angels my whole heart ought to glow ; 
and to weep for joy. 

For I have thee truly present in the sacrament ; 
though hidden under the appearance of something else. 
For to behold thee in thine own divine brightness, 
is what mine eyes would not be able to endure : [of thy majesty. 
nay not even could the whole world abide the splendour of the glory 
In this therefore thou condescendest to my weakness ; 
that thou hidest thyself under the sacrament. 
I truly have and adore him whom the angels adore in heaven : 
but I as yet in faith ; 
they as he is and without a veil. 

I must be content with the light of true faith, 
and must walk therein until the day of eternal Ijrightness breathes 
and the shadows of figures fall aslant. [upon me ; 

But when that which is perfect shall have come, 
the use of sacraments shall cease : 
for the blessed in heavenly glory, 
stand not in need of the healing aid of sacraments ; 
for they rejoice without end in the presence of God, 
beholding his glory face to face : [the unfathomable Deity, 

and being transformed from their brightness into the brightness of 
they taste the Word of God made flesh as he was from the begin - 

[ning and as he remains for ever. 

When I call to mind these wonders, 
even every spiritual solace becomes a weary weight to me : 
because as long as I behold not my Lord openly in his .glory ; 
I hold as nothing whatsoever I see and hear in the world. 

( 423 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XI. 

Testis es tu mihi Deus : 
quod nulla res me potest consolari, 
nulla creatura quietare ; 

nisi tu Deus meus quern desidero aeternaliter contemplari. 
Sed non est hoc possibile durante me in hac mortalitate: 
ideo oportet ut me ponam ad magnam patientiam ; 
et me ipsum in omni desiderio tibi submittam. [tant ; 

Nam et sancti tui Domine qui tecum jam in regno caelorum exsul- 
in fide et patientia magna dum viverent adventum gloriae tuae ex- 
Quod illi crediderunt ego credo : [spectabant. 
quod illi speraverunt ego spero ; 
quo illi pervenerunt, 
per gratiam tuam me venturum confido. 
Ambulabo interim in fide exemplis confortatus sanctorum : 
habebo etiani libros sanctos pro solatio et vitae speculo ; 

atque super haec omnia sanctissimum corpus tuum pro singulari 

[remedio et refugio. 
II. Duo namque mihi necessaria permaxime sentio in hac vita ; 

sine quibus mihi importabilis foret ista miserabilis vita. 
In carcere corporis hujus detentus, 
duobus me egere fateor; 
cibo scilicet et lumine. 

Dedisti itaque mihi infirmo sacrum corpus tuum ad refectionem 
et posuisti lucernam pedibus meis verbum tuum. [mentis et corporis; 
Sine his duobus bene vivere non possem : 
nam verbum Dei lux animae meae; 
et sacramentum tuum panis vitae. 
Haec possunt etiam dici mensae duae hinc et inde ; 
in gazophylacio sanctae ecclesiae positae. 

Una mensa est sacri altaris habens panem sanctum id est corpus 

[Christi pretiosum : 
altera est divinae legis continens doctrinam sanctam ; 
erudiens fidem rectam, 

et firmiter usque ad interiora velaminis ubi sunt sancta sanctorum 

[perducens. 

( 424 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XI. Of thk :mit,ation of Christ. 

Thou art my witness O God : 
that no one thing can comfort me, 
nor any tiling created give me rest ; 

but only thou my God whom I desire for ever to contemplate. 
But this is not possible whilst I remain in this mortal state : 
and therefore I must dispose myself to much patience ; 
and must submit myself to thee in all my desires, [doni of heaven : 
For thy saints also O Lord who now rejoice with thee in the king- 
whilst they were living waited in faith and great patience for the 
What they believed I believe : [coiiiing of thy glory, 

what they hoped for I hope for ; 
and whither they have arrived, 

I trust that I also through thy grace shall arrive. [saints : 

Meanwhile I will walk in faith strengthened by the examples of thy 
I shall have moreover holy books for my solace and for the mirror 

[of my life ; 
and above all these things thy most holy body for a singular remedy 

[and refuge. 
II. For in this life I find that there are two things especially 

[necessary for me ; 
without which this miserable life would be insupportable to me. 
Whilst I am kept in the prison of this body, 
I acknowledge myself to need two things ; 
namely food and light. 
Thou hast therefore given to me weak as I am thy sacred body for 



the refreshment 
of my soul and 
body ; 



and thou hast set thy word as a lamp to my feet. 
Without these two I could not well live : 
for the word of God is the light of my soul ; 
and thy sacrament is the bread of life. 

These also may be called the two tables set on the one side and on 
in the store-house of the holy church. [the other ; 

One is the table of the holy altar having the holy bread that is the 

[precious body of Christ : 
the other is that of the divine law containing holy doctrine ; 
teaching the right faith, 
and firmly leading even within the veil where is the holy of holies. 

(425 ) 



De iMITATIONE CHRISTI. LiB. IV. CAP. XI. 

III. Gratias tibi Domine Jesu lux lucis aeternae, 
pro doctrinae sacrae mensa ; 

quam nobis per servos tuos prophetas at apostolos, 

aliosque doctores ministrasti. 

Gratias tibi Creator ac Redemptor hominum, 

qui ad declarandam toti mundo caritatem tuam coenam parasti 

in qua non agnum typicum, [magnam : 

sad tuum sanctissimum corpus et sanguinem proposuisti man- 

laetificans omnas fidelas convivio sacro, [ducandum ; 

et calice inebrians salutari : 

in quo sunt omnas deliciaa paradisi; 

et. epulantur nobiscum angeli sancti, 

sed suavitate feliciori. 

IV. O quam magnum et honorabile est officium sacerdotum ; 
quibus datum est Dominum majestatis verbis sacris consecrare : 
labiis benadicare, 

manibus tenere, 
ore proprio sumere, 
et ceteris ministrara. 

O quam mundae debant esse manus illae, 
quam purum os, 
quam sanctum corpus, 
quam immaculatum cor erit sacerdotis ; 
ad quem toties ingreditur auctor puritatis. 

Ex ore sacerdotis nihil nisi sanctum nihil nisi honestum et utile pro- 
qui tam saepa Christi accipit sacramentum. [cedere debet verbum; 
Oculi ejus simplices et pudici ; 
qui Christi corpus solent intueri. 
Manus purae et in caelum elevatae ; 
quae Creatoram caeli et terrae solent contrectare, 
Sacardotibus specialiter in lege dicitur. 
Sancti estota : 
quoniam ego sanctus sum Dominus Deus vester. 

Adjuvet nos gratia tua omnipotens Deus : 
ut qui officium sacerdotale suscepimus ; 

digna ac devote tibi in omni puritate et consciantia bona famulari 

(426) [valeamus. 



Booic IV. Chap. XI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

III. Thanks be to thee Lord Jesus light of eternal light, 
for the table of holy doctrine ; 

which by the ministry of thy servants the prophets and apostles, 

and other teachers thou hast afforded us. 

Thanks be to thee O thou Creator and Redeemer of men, 

who to manifest thy love to the whole world hast prepared a great 

wherein not the typical lamb, [supper : 

but thy most sacred body and blood thou hast set before us to be 

rejoicing all the faithful with thy holy banquet, [eaten ; 

and intoxicating them with the cup of salvation : 

in which are all the delights of paradise ; 

and holy angels feast with us, 

but with a more happy sweetness. 

IV. Oh how great and honourable is the office of priests ; 

to whom it is given to consecrate with sacred words the Lord of 

to bless him with their lips, [majesty : 

to hold him with their hands, 

to receive him with their own mouth, 

and to administer him to others. 

Oh how clean ought those hands to be, 
how pure that mouth, 
how holy that body, 

how unspotted will be the heart of a priest ; 
into whom the author of purity so often enters. 
Nothing but what is holy no word but what is good and profitable 
who so often receives the sacrament of Christ. I ought to proceed 
His eyes ought to be simple and chaste ; I from the mouth 

which are wont to behold the body of Christ. lof a priest ; 
His hands pure and lifted up to heaven ; 
which are wont to handle the Creator of heaven and earth. 
Unto the priests especially it is said in the law. 
Be ye holy : 
for I the Lord your God am holy. 

Let thy grace O Almighty God assist us : 
that we who have undertaken the office of the priesthood ; 
may serve thee worthily and devoutly in all purity and good con- 

( 427 ) [science. 



De Imitatione Christi, Lib. IV. Cap. XII. 

Et si non possumus in tanta innocentia vitae conversari ut debemus : 
concede nobis tamen digne flere mala quae gessimus ; 
et in spiritu humilitdtis ac bonae voluntatis proposito tibi ferventius 

[de cetero deservire. 



Cap. XII.— Quod Magna Diligentia se debeat Communica- 
TURUS Christo Praeparare. 

vox DILECTI. 

I. Ego sum puritatis amator; 
et dator omnis sanctitatis. 
Ego cor purum quaero ; 
et ibi est locus requietionis meae. 
Para mihi coenaculum grande stratum ; 
et faciam apud te pascha cum discipulis meis. 
Si vis ut veniam ad te, 
et apud te maneam : 
expurga vetus fermentum; 
et munda cordis tui habitaculum. 

Exclude totum saeculum et omnem vitiorum tumultum : 
sede tamquam passer solitarius in tecto ; 
et cogita excessus tuos in amaritudine animae tuae. 
Omnis namque amans, 

suo dilecto amatori optimum et pulcherrimum praeparat locum ; 
quia in hoc cognoscitur affectus suscipientis dilectum. 

Scito tamen te non posse satisfacere huic praeparationi ex merito 

[tuae actionis ; 
etiamsi per integrum annum te praeparares et nihil aliud in mente 

[haberes. 
Sed ex sola pietate et gratia mea permitteris ad mensam meam 
ac si mendicus ad prandium vocaretur divitis, [accedere : 

et ille nihil aliud habeat ad retribuendum beneficiis ejus ; 
nisi se humiliando et ei regratiando, 

Fac quod in te est et diligenter facito, 
non ex tonsuetudine non ex necessitate ; 

( 428 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

And if we cannot live in such great innocency of life as we ought : 
grant us at least to bewail duly the sins which we have committed ; 
and in the spirit of humility and the resolution of a good will to 
[serve thee more fervently for the time to come. 



Chapter XII.— That He who is to Communicate ought to 
Prepare Himself for Christ with Great Diligence. 

THE voice of the BELOVED. 

I. I ain the lover of purity; 
and the giver of all holiness. 
I seek a pure heart ; 
and there is the place of my rest. 

Make ready for me a large room furnished in which to sup : 
and I will make the passover with thee together with my disciples. 
If thou wilt have me come to thee, 
and remain with thee : 
purge out the old leaven ; 
and make clean the habitation of thy heart. 
Shut out the whole world and all the tumult of vices : 
sit like a sparrow alone on the housetop ; 
and think of thy transgressions in the bitterness of thy soul. 
For every lover, 

prepares the best and fairest abode for his dearly beloved ; 
for hereby is known the affection of him who entertains his beloved. 

Know nevertheless that thou canst not do enough towards this 

[preparation by the merit of what thou doest ; 

although thou shouldest prepare thyself a whole year together and 

[think of nothing else. 
But it is merely of my goodness and grace that thou art suffered to 
as if a beggar were invited to the dinner of a rich man, Fdrawnear to 
and he had nothing else to return him for his benefits; [my table : 
but to humble himself and give him thanks. 

Do what lies in thee and do it diligently, 
not out of custom nor from necessity ; 

( 429 ) 



De Imitatione (Jhristi. Lib. IV. Cap. XII. 

sed cum timore et reverentia, 

et affectu accipe corpus dilecti Domini Dei tui dignantis ad te 

Ego sum qui vocavi, [venire. 

ego jussi fieri : 

ego supplebo quod tibi deest; 

veni et suscipe me. 

II. Quum gratiam devotionis tribuo gratias age Deo tuo : 
non quia dignus es ; 

sed quia tui misertus sum. 

Si non habes sed magis aridum te sentis : 
insiste orationi, 
ingemisce et pulsa ; 

nee desistas donee merearis micam aut guttam gratiae salutaris 
Tu mei indiges ; [accipere. 

non ego tui indigeo. 
Nee tu me sanctificare venis ; 
sed ego te sanctificare et meliorare venio. 
Tu venis ut ex me sanctificeris et mihi uniaris : 
ut novam gratiam recipias ; 
et de novo ad emendationem aecendaris. 
Noli negligere banc gratiam : 
sed praepara cum omni diligentia, 
cor tuuin ; 
et introduc ad te dilectum tuum. 

[ante communionem ; 

III. Oportet autem ut non solum te praepares ad devotionem 
sed ut etiam te sollicite conserves in ea post sacramenti percep- 

[tionem. 
Nee minor custodia post exigitur, 
quam devota praeparatio prius. 
Nam bona postmodum custodia ; 

optima iterum est praeparatio ad majorem gratiam consequendam. 
Ex eo quippe valde indispositus quis redditur ; 
si statim fuerit nimis effusus ad exteriora solatia. 

Cave a multiloquio : 
mane in secreto ; 

( 430 ) 



Book IV. Chat. XII. Of the Imit.\tion of Christ. 

but with fear and reverence, 

and affection receive the body of thy beloved Lord God who vouch- 

I am he who have invited thee, [safes to come to thee. 

I have commanded it to be done : 

I will supply what is lacking in thee ; 

come and receive me. 

II. When I bestow the grace of devotion give thanks to thy God : 
not because thou art worthy ; 

but because I have had mercy on thee. 

If thou hast it not but rather findest thyself dry : 
continue instant in prayer, 
sigh and knock ; 

and give not over until thou receivest some ci umb or drop of saving 
Thou needest me ; [grace. 

I have no need of thee. " 
Neither dost thou come to sanctify me ; 
but I come to sanctify thee and make thee better. 
Thou comest that thou mayest be sanctified by me and united to 
that thou mayest receive new grace ; [me : 

and be inflamed anew to amendment. 
Neglect not this grace : 
but prepare with all diligence, 
thy heart ; 
and bring thy beloved in unto thee. 

[before communion ; 

III. But thou oughtest not only to prepare thyself by devotion 
but carefully also to keep thyself therein after receiving the sacra- 

[ment. 
Neither is the carefully guardingof thyself afterwards less required, 
than the devoutly pi^eparing of thyself before. 
For a good guard afterwards ; 

is the best preparation for again obtaining greater grace. 
For what renders a man very much indisposed ; 
is the giving himself up too much to outward consolations. 

Beware of much talk : 
remain in secret ; 

( 431 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XIII. 

et fruere Deo tuo. 

Ipsum enim habes ; 

quern totusmundus tibi auferre non potest. 

Ego sum, 

cui te totum dare debes : 

ita ut jam ultra non in te ; 

sed in me absque omni sollicitudine vivas. 



Cap. XIII.— Quod Toto Corde Anima Devota Christi 
Unionem in Sacramento Affectare debet. 



vox DISCIPULI. 

I. Quis mihi det, ' 

Domine, 

ut inveniam te solum et aperiam tibi totum cor meum : 
et fruar te sicut desiderat anima mea ; 
et jam me nemo despiciat, 
nee ulla creatura me moveat vel respiciat : 
sed tu solus mihi loquaris et ego tibi ; 
sicut solet dilectus ad dilectum loqui, 
et amicus cum amico convivari. 

Hoc oro hoc desidero : 
ut tibi totus uniar, 

et cor meum ab omnibus creatis rebus abstraham ; 
magisque per sacram communionem ac frequentem celebrationem 
Ah Domine Deus, [caelestia et aeterna sapere discam. 

quando ero tecum totus unitus et absorptus ; 
meique totaliter oblitus. * 

Tu in me et ego in te ; 
et sic nos pariter in unum manere concede. 
Vere tu es dilectus mens electus ex millibus : 

in quo complacuit animae meae habitare omnibus diebus vitae suae. 
Vere tu pacificus mens : 
in quo pax sunima et requies vera ; 

( 432 ) 



Book IV. Chai\ XIII. Of the Imitation of Chkist. 

and enjoy thy God. 

For thou hast him ; 

whom all the world cannot take from thee. 

I am he, 

to whom thou oughtest to give thy whole self : 

so that thou mayest henceforward live not in thyself ; 

but in me without any anxious care. 



Chapter XIII.— That a Devout Soul ought to Desire 

WITH her Whole Heart to be United to Christ 

IN THE Sacrament. 

the voice of the DISCIPLE. 

I. O that it were given me, 
O Lord, 

to find thee alone that I may open my whole heart to thee : 
and enjoy thee as my soul desires ; 
and that none may now deign to notice me, 
nor any thing created affect or regard me : 
but that thou alone mayest speak to me and I to thee ; 
as the beloved is wont to speak unto his beloved, 
and a friend to entertain himself with his friend. 

This I pray for this I desire : 
that I may be wholly united to thee, 
and may withdraw my heart from all created things ; 
and by the holy communion and often celebrating may learn more 
Ah Lord God, [to relish heavenly and eternal things, 

when shall I be wholly united to thee and absorbed in thee ; 
and altogether forgetful of myself 
Thou in me and I in thee ; 
and so grant us both to continue in one. 
Verily thou art my beloved the chosen out of thousands ; 
in whom my soul is well pleased to dwell all the days of her life. 
Thou truly makest peace for me : 
thou in whom is sovereign peace and true rest ; 

( 433 ) 2 F 



Dk Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XIII. 

e.xtra quem labor et dolor et infinita miseria. 

Vere tu es Deus absconditus : 

et consilium tuum non est cum impiis ; 

sed cum humilibus et simplicibus sermo tuus. 

II. O quam suavis est Domine, 
spiritus tuus : 

qui ut dulcedinem tuam in filios demonstrares, 
pane suavissimo de caelo descendente illos reficere dignaris. 

Vere non est alia natio tarn grandis quae habeat Deos appropin- 
sicut tu Deus noster ades univefsis fidelibus tuis : [quantes sibi ; 
quibus ob quotidianum solatium et cor erigendum in caelum ; 
te tribuis ad edendum et fruendum. 

Quae est enim alia gens tam inclyta sicut plebs Christiana : 
aut quae creatura sub caelo tam dilecta ut anima devota : 
ad quam ingreditur Deus ut pascat earn carne sua gloriosa. 

O ineffabilis gratia : 
o admirabilis dignatio : 
o amor immensus homini singulariter impensus. 

Sed quid retribuam Domino pro gratia Ista : 
pro caritate tam eximia? 
Non est aliud quodgratius donare queam ; 
quam ut cor meum Deo totaliter tribuam et intime conjungam. 

Tunc exsultabunt omnia interiora mea ; 
quumperfecte fuerit unita Deo anima mea. 
Tunc dicet mihi. 
Si tu vis esse mecum, 
ego volo esse tecum. 
Et ego respondebo illi. 
Dignare Domine manere mecum ; 
ego volo libenter esse tecum. 
Hoc est totum desiderium meum ; 
ut cor meum tibi sit unitum. 



( 434 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XIII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

out of whom are labour and sorrow and endless misery. 

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself: 

and thy counsel is not with the wicked ; 

but thy conversation is with the humble and the simple. 

II. Oh how sweet O Lord, 
is thy spirit : ffrom heaven, 

who to show thy sweetness towards thy children, [comes down 
dost vouchsafe to feed them with the most delicious bread which 

Surely there is no other nation so great which has its gods so nigh 
as thou our God art present to all thy faithful : [to it ; 

to whom for their daily solace and for raising up their heart to 
thou givest thyself to be eaten and enjoyed. [heaven ; 

For what other nation is there so renowned as the Christian people : 
or what creature under heaven so beloved as a devout soul : 
to whom God comes that he may feed her with his glorious flesh. 

O grace unspeakable : 
O marvellous condescension ; 

unmeasured love bestowed on man alone. 

But what return shall I make to the Lord for this grace : 
and for so choice a love? 

Nothing can I give him that will please him more ; 
than if I offer my whole heart to God and unite it closely to him. 

Then all that is within me shall sing for joy ; 
when my soul shall be perfectly united to God. 
Then will he say to me. 
If thou wilt be with me, 

1 will be with thee. 
And I will answer him. 
Vouchsafe Lord to abide with me ; 

my will and my wish is to be with thee. 

This is all my desire ; 

that my heart may be united to thee. 



( 435 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XIV. 



Cap. XIV.— De Quorundam Devotorum Ardenti Desiderio 

AD Corpus Christi. 

vox DISCIPULI. 
I. O quam magna multitudo dulcedinis tuae Domine ; 
quam abscondisti timentibus te. 

Quando recorder devotorum aliquorum ad sacramentum tuum 
[Domine cum maxima devotione et affectu accedentium ; 
tunc saepius in me ipso confundor et erubesco, 
quod ad altare tuum et sacrae communionis mensam tarn tepide et 

[frigide accede : 
quod ita aridus et sine affectione cordis maneo ; 
quod non sum totaliter accensus coram te Deo meo, 
nee ita vehementer attractus et affectus sicut multi devoti fuerunt : 
qui prae nimio desiderio communionis et sensibili cordis amore a 

[fletu se non potuerunt continere ; 
sed ore cordis et corporis pariter ad te Deum fontem vivum meduUi- 

[tus inhiabant : 

suam esuriem non valentes aliter temperare nee satiare ; 

nisi corpus tuum cum omni jucunditate et spirituali aviditate ac- 

O vera ardens fides eorum ; [cepissent. 

probabile exsistens argumentum sacrae praesentiae tuae. 
Isti enim veraciter cognoscunt Dominum suum in fractione panis ; 
quorum cor tam valide ardet in eis de Jesu ambulante cum eis. 

Longe est a me saepe talis affectus et devotio ; 
tam vehemens amor et ardor. 

1 1. Esto mihi propitius Jesu bone dulcis et benigne ; 
et concede pauperi mendico tuo vel interdum modicum de cordiali 
ut fides mea magis convalescat, raftectu amoris tui in sacra 

spes in bonitate tua proficiat ; [communione sentire : 

et caritas semel perfecte accensa et caeleste manna experta num- 

[quam deficiat. 

Potens est autem misericordia tua etiam gratiam desideratam mihi 

[praestare : 

( 436 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XIV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter XIV.— Of the Ardent Longing of some Devout 
Men for the Body of Christ. 

the voice of the disciple. 

I. Oh how great is the multitude of thy sweetness Lord ; 
which thou hast hidden for them that fear thee. 
When I call to mind some devout persons who come to thy sacra- 
[ment with the greatest devotion and affection ; 
I am often confounded and ashamed within myself, 
that I approach with such lukewarmness and coldness to thine 
[altar and to the table of the holy communion : 
that I remain so dry and without affection of heart ; 
that I am not wholly set on fire in thy presence O my God, [been : 
nor so mightily drawn and affected as many devout persons have 
who out of a vehement desire of communion and the sensible emotion 
[of their hearts were unable to refrain themselves from weeping ; 
but from the depth of their souls they eagerly thirsted to approach 

[both with the mouth of their heart and their 
[body to thee O God the living fount : 
being in no wise able to allay or appease their hunger ; 
but by receiving thy body with all joy and spiritual eagerness. 

O true ardent faith of these men ; 
which stands forth as a strong presumption of thy sacred presence. 
For they truly know their Lord in the breaking of bread ; 
whose heartburns so mightily within them because Jesus walks with 
Such affection and devotion as this is often far from me ; [them. 
so vehement a love and ardour. 

IL Be thou merciful to me O good Jesus sweet and gracious ; 
and grant me thy poor bedesman sometimes at least to feel in holy 
that my faith may grow stronger, [ communion some little of the 
my hope in thy goodness increase ; icordial affection of thy love : 
and that my charity being once perfectly enkindled and having 

[tasted the heavenly manna may never fail. 

For mighty is thy mercy to grant me even the grace I long for : 

( 437 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XV. 

et in spiritu ardoris quum dies beneplaciti tui venerit me clemen- 

[tissime visitare. 
Etenim licet tanto desiderio tam specialium devotorum tuorum non 

[ardeo : 
tamen de gratia tua illius magni inflammati desiderii desiderium 

[habeo ; 
orans et desiderans omnium talium fervidorum amatorum tuorum 
ac eorum sancto consortio annumerari. [participem me fieri, 



Cap. XV.— Quod Gratia Devotionis Humilitate et sui 

ipsius Aenegatione Acquiritur. 

vox dilecti, 

I. Oportet te devotionis gratiam instanter quaerere, 
desideranter petere patienter et fiducialiter exspectare : 
gratanter recipere, 
humiliter conservare, 

studiose cum ea operari ; [committere. 

ac Deo terminum et modum supernae visitationis donee veniat 

Humiliare praecipue te debes quum parum aut nihil devotionis 
sed non nimium dejici, [interius sentis ; 

nee inordinate contristari. 
Dat saepe Deus in uno brevi momento ; 
quod longo negavit tempore. 
Dat quandoque in fine ; 
quod in principio orationis distulit dare. 
Si semper cito gratia daretur, 
et pro voto adesset ; 
non esset infirmohomini bene portabile. 
Propterea in bona spe et humili patientia ; 
exspectanda est devotionis gratia. 

Tibi tamen et peccatis tuis imputa ; 
quum non datur vel etiam occulte toUitur. 

( 438 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

and to visit me in thy great clemency with the spirit of fervour when 

[the day of thy good pleasure shall have come. 

For though I bum not at present with so great a desire as those 

[who are so singularly devoted to thee : 
yet by thy grace I desire to have this same greatly inflamed desire ; 

praying and desiring that I may be made partaker with all such thy 
and be numbered in their holy company. [fervent lovers, 



Chapter XV.— ^That the Grace of Devotion is Obtained 
BY Humility and Self-denial. 

the voice of the beloved. 

1. Thou oughtest to seek the grace of devotion earnestly, 
to ask it fervently to wait for it patiently and confidently : 
to receive it thankfully, 
to keep it humbly, 

to co-operate with it diligently ; [visitation until he come, 

and to commit to God the duration and manner of this heavenly 

Especially oughtest thou to humble thyself when thou feelest in- 
and yet not to be too much cast down, [wardly little or no devotion ; 
nor to be grieved above measure. 
God often gives in one short moment ; 
what he has a long time denied. 
He giveth sometimes in the end ; 

that which in the beginning of prayer he deferred to give. 
If grace were always presently given, 
and ever at hand according to our wish ; 
it would be more than weak man could well bear. 
Therefore with a good hope and humble patience ; 
the grace of devotion is to be waited for. 

Yet impute it to thyself and to thy sins ; 
when it is not given thee or when it is taken away thou knowest not 

[why. 
( 439 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XV. 

Modicum quandoque est quod gratiam impedit et abscondit : 
si tamen modicum et non potius grande dici debeat ; 
quod tanium bonum prohibet. 

Et si hoc ipsum modicum vel grande amoveris et perfecte viceris ; 
erit quod petisti. 

Statim namque ut te Deo ex toto corde tradideris, 
nee hoc vel illud pro tuo libitu seu velle quaesieris, 
sed integre te in ipso posueris ; 
unitum te invenies et pacatum : 
quia nil ita bene sapiet etplacebit ; 

sicut beneplacitum divinae voluntatis. [levaverit : 

Quisquis ergo intentionem suam simplici corde sursum ad Deum 

seque ab omni inordinato amore seu displicentia cujuslibet rei 

[creatae evacuaverit ; 
aptissimus gratiae percipiendae ac dignus devotionis munere erit. 
Dat enim Dominus ibi benedictionem suam ; 
ubi vasa vacua invenerit. 
Et quanto perfectius infimis quis renunciat, 
et magis sibi ipsi per contemptum sui moritur : 
tanto gratia celerius venit, 
copiosius intrat ; 
et altius liberum cor elevat. 

II. Tunc videbit et affluet, 
et mirabitur et dilatabitur cor ejus in ipso : 
quia manus Domini cum eo ; 

et ipse se posuit totaliter in manu ejus usque in saeculum. 
Ecce sic benedicetur homo, 
qui quaerit Deum in toto corde suo ; 
nee in vanum accipit animam suam. 
Hie in accipiendo saeram eucharistiam, 
magnam promeretur divinae unionis gratiam : 
quia non respicit ad propiiam devotionem et consolationem ; 
sed super omnem devotionem et consolationem ad Dei gloriam et 

[honorein. 



(. 440 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XV. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

It is sometimes a little thing that hinders or hides grace : 
if indeed that may be called little and not rather great ; 
which hinders so great a good. [overcome it ; 

But if thou remove this hindrance be it small or great and perfectly 
that shall be which thou hast asked. [heart, 

For as soon as thou hast delivered thyself up to God with thy whole 
and neither seekest this nor that for thine own pleasure or will, 
but wholly placest thyself in him ; 
thou shalt find thyself united to him and at peace : 
for nothing will relish so well and please thee so much ; 
as the good pleasure of the divine will, [intention upwards to God : 
Whosoever therefore with a single heart shall have directed his 
and purified himself from all inordinate love or dislike of any created 

[thing ; 
he will be the fittest to receive grace and shall be worthy of the gift 
For the Lord there bestows his blessing ; [of devotion, 

where he finds the vessels empty. 
And the more perfectly a man forsakes things below, 
and the more he dies to himself by the contempt of himself : 
the more speedily grace comes, 
the more plentifully it enters in ; 
and the higher it lifts up the free heart. 

II. Then shall he see and abound, 
shall wonder and his heart shall be enlarged within him : 
because the hand of the Lord is with him ; 
and he has put himself wholly into his hand for ever. 
Behold thus shall the man be blessed, 
who seeks God with his whole heart ; 
and has not received his soul in vain. 
This man in receiving the holy eucharist, 
merits the great grace of divine union : 
because he looks not to his own devotion and consolation ; 
but above all devotion and consolation regards the honour and glory 

[of God. 



( 441 ) 



DE iMITATIONE CHRISTI. LIB. IV. CAP. XVI. 

Cap. XVI.— Quod Necessitates nostras Christo Aperire 
ET Ejus Gratiam Postulare debemus. 

vox DISCIPULI. 

I. O dulcissime atque amantissime Domine quern nunc devote 

[desidero suscipere ; 
tu scis infirmitatem meam et necessitatem quam patior : 
in quantis malis et vitiis jaceo ; 

quam saepe sum gravatus tentatus turbatus et inquinatus. 
Pro remedio ad te venio ; 
pro consolatione et sublevamine te deprecor. 
Ad omnia scientem loquor, 
cui manifesta sunt omnia interiora mea ; 
et qui solus potest me perfecte consolari et adjuvare. 
Tu scis quibus bonis indigeo prae omnibus ; 
et quam pauper sum in virtutibus. 
Ecce sto ante te pauper et nudus ; 
gratiam postulans et misericordiam implorans. 

II. Refice esurientem mendicum tuum : 
accende frigiditatem meam igne amoris tui ; 
illumina caecitatem meam claritate praesentiae tuae. 
Verte mihi omnia terrena in amaritudinem : 
omnia gravia et contraria in patientiam ; 

omnia infima et creata in contemptum et oblivionem. 

Erige cor meum ad te in caelum ; 

et ne dimittas me vagari super terram. 

Tu solus mihi ex hoc jam dulcescas usque in saeculum : 

quia tu solus cibus et potus mens, 

amor mens et gaudium meum ; 

dulcedo mea et totum bonum meum. 

Utinam me totaliter ex tua praesentia accendas, 
combures et in te transmutes : 

ut unus tecum efficiar spiritus per gratiam internae unionis ; 
et liquefactionem ardentis amoris. 
Ne patiaris me jejunum et aridum a te recedere : 

( 442 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XVI. Of the Imitation of Christ. 



Chapter XVI.— That we ought to L.a.y Open our Needs 
TO Christ and Crave His Grace. 

THE VOICE OF THE DISCIPLE. 

I, O most sweet and loving Lord whom I now desire to receive 

[with devotion ; 
thou knowest my weakness and the necessity which I am under : 
in how great evils and vices I am lying ; 
how often I am weighed down tempted troubled and defiled. 
To thee 1 come for remedy ; 
to thee I pray for comfort and succour. 
I speak to him who knows all things, 
to whom all within me is manifest : 
and who alone can perfectly comfort and help me. 
Thou knowest what good things I most need ; 
and how poor 1 am in virtues. 
Behold I stand before thee poor and naked ; 
begging for thy grace and imploring thy mercy. 

II. Cheer thy famishing suppliant : 
enkindle my coldness with the fire of thy love ; 
enlighten my blindness with the brightness of thy presence. 
Turn for me all earthly things into bitterness : 

all things grievous and adverse into patience ; 

all things grovelling and created into contempt and forgetfulness. 

Raise up my heart to thee in heaven ; 

and sufifer me not to stray to and fro upon earth. 

Be thou alone sweet to me from henceforth for evermore : 

for thou only art my meat and drink, 

my love and my joy ; 

my sweetness and all my good. 

Oh that with thy presence thou wouldest wholly enkindle, 
and consume me and transform me into thyself: 
that I may be made one spirit with thee by the grace of inward 
and by the melting of ardent love. [union ; 

Suffer me not to go from thee an hungred and athirst : 

( 443 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Ljb. iv. Cap. XVII 

sed operare mecum misericorditer ; 

sicut saepius operatus es cum Sanctis tuis mirabiliter. 

Quid mirum si totus ex te ignescerem, 

et in me ipso deficerem : 

quum tu sis ignis semper ardens et numquam deficiens, 

amor corda purificans, 

et intellectum illuminans? 



Cap. XVII.— De Ardenti Amore et Vehement: Affectu 
SusciPiENDi Christum. 

vox DISCIPULI. 
I. Cum summa devotione et ardenti amore, 
cum toto cordis affectu et fervore desidero et Domine suscipere ; 
quemadmodum multi sancti et devotae personae in communicando 
qui tibi maxime in sanctitate vitae placuerunt ; [te desideraverunt : 
et in ardentissima devotione fuerunt. [minabilis : 

O Deus mens amor aeternus totum bonum meum felicitas inter- 
cupio te suscipere cum vehementissimo desiderio et dignissima 

[reverentia ; 
quam aliquis sanctorum umquam habuit et sentire potuit. 
Et licet indignus sum omnia ilia sentimenta devotionis habere : 
tamen offero tibi totum cordis mei affectum ; 
ac si omnia ilia gratissima inflammata desideria solus haberem. 
Sed et quaecumque potest pia mens concipere et desiderare ; 
haec omnia tibi cum summa veneratione et intimo favore praebeo 
Nihil opto mihi reservare ; [et offero. 

sed me et omnia mea tibi sponte et libentissime immolare. 

Domine Deus meus creator mens et redemptor mens cum tali 

[affectu reverentia laude et honore cum 
tali gratitudine dignitate et amore, 
cum tali fide spe et puritate te affecto hodie suscipere : 

( 444 ) 



BOOK IV. Chap. XVII. Ok tiik Imitation of Christ. 

but deal with me in thy mercy ; 

as thou hast often dealt wonderfully with thy saints. 

What marvel if I should be wholly set on fire by thee, 

and should die out in myself : 

since thou art a fire always glowing and never failing, 

a love purifying the heart, 

and enlightening the understanding? 



Chapter XVII.— Of Fervent Love and Vehement Desire 

TO Receive Christ. 

the voice of the disciple. 

I. With the greatest devotion and burning love, [O Lord ; 

with all the affection and fervour of my heart I desire to receive thee 
as many saints and devout persons have desired thee in communion : 
who were most pleasing to thee in holiness of life ; 
and most fervent in devotion. 

my God eternal love my whole good never-ending happiness : 

1 long to receive thee with the most vehement desire and most be- 

[fitting reverence ; 
which any of the saints have ever had or could feel. 
And although I am unworthy to have all those feelings of devotion : 
yet I offer to thee the whole affection of my heart ; 
as if I alone had all those most pleasing and inflamed longings. 
Yea and whatsoever a pious mind can conceive and desire ; 
all this with the greatest reverence and most inward affection I offer 
I desire to reserve nothing to myself; [and present to thee, 

but freely and most willingly to sacrifice myself and all that is mine to 

[thee. 
O Lord my God my creator and my redeemer I desire to receive 

[thee this day with such affection reverence praise and 
honour with such gratitude worthiness and love, 
with such faith hope and purity : 

( 445 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XVII. 

sicut te suscepit et desideravit sanctissima mater tua gloriosa Virgo 
Maria quando angelo evangelizanti sibi incarnationis 
.mysterium humiliterac devote respondit ; 

ecce ancilla Domini fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. 

Et sicut beatus praecursor tuus excellentissimus sanctorum Johannes 

[Baptista in praesentia tua laetabundus 
exsultavit in gaudio Spiritus sancti, 
dum adhuc maternis clauderetur visceribus ; 

et postmodum cernens inter homines Jesum ambulantem valde se 

[humilians devoto cum affectu dicebat, 
amicus autem sponsi qui stat et audit eum gaudio gaudet propter 

[vocem sponsi : 
sic et ego magnis et sacris desideriis opto inflammari : 
et tibi ex toto corde me ipsum praesentare. 
Unde et omnium devotorum cordium jubilationes, 
ardentes affectus, 
mentales excessus, 

ac supernaturales illuminationes et caelicas visiones tibi offero et 
exhibeo cum omnibus virtutibus et laudibus ab omni 
creatura in caelo et in terra celebratis et celebrandis 
.pro me et omnibus mihi in oratione commendatis : 
quatenus ab omnibus digne lauderis ; 
et in perpetuum glorificeris. 

[laudationis ac immensae benedictionis ; 

II. Accipe vota mea Domine Deus meus et desideria infinitae 

quae tibi secundum multitudinem inelTabilis magnitudinis tuae jure 

[debentur. 
Haec tibi reddo et reddere desidero per singulos dies et momenta 
atque ad reddendum mecum tibi gratias et laudes, [temporum ; 
omnes caelestes spiritus et cunctos fideles tuos precibus et affectibus 

[invito et exoro. 
Laudent te universi popuU tribus et linguae ; 

et sanctum ac melHfluum nomen tuum cum summa jubilatione et 

[ardenti devotione magnificent. 
Et quicumque reverenter ac devote altissimum sacramentum tuum 

[celebrant et plena fide recipiunt : 

(446 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XVII. Of the Imitation of Christ. 

as thy most holy mother the glorious Virgin Mary received and 

[longed for thee when she humbly and devoutly answered 
the angel who declared to her the mystery of the incarnation ; 
behold the handmaid of the Lord be it done to me according to thy 

[word. 
And as thy blessed forerunner most excellent among the saints John 

the Baptist in thy presence leaped 
for joy through the Holy Ghost, 
whilst he was yet shut within his mother's womb ; 
and afterwards seeing Jesus walking amongst men humbling him- 

[self exceedingly said with devout affection, 
the friend of the bridegroom who standeth and heareth him rejoiceth 

[with joy because of the bridegroom's voice : 
so I also wish to be inflamed with great and holy desires ; 
and to present myself before thee with my whole heart. 
Wherefore the rejoicings of all devout hearts, 
their ardent affections, 
the raptures of their minds, 

and supernatural illuminations and heavenly visions I here offer and 

present to thee together with all the virtues and praises which 

have been or shall be celebrated by all creatures in heaven and 

earth for myself and all such as are commended to my prayers: 

that by all thou mayest be worthily praised ; 

and glorified for ever. 

[give thee infinite praise and blessing without bound ; 

II. Receive my vows O Lord my God and my longing desire to 

which according to the multitude of thy unspeakable greatness are 

[justly due to thee. 
These I render and desire to render thee every day and every 
and with my prayers and affections, [moment ; 

1 invite and entreat all the heavenly spirits and all thy faithful to 
[join with me in giving thee praises and thanks. 
Let all people nations and languages praise thee ; 
and magnify thy holy and sweet name with utmost jubilation and 

[ardent devotion. 
And let all who reverently and devoutly celebrate thy most high 

[sacrament and receive it with full faith : 

( 447 ) 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV. Cap. XVIII. 

gratiam et misericordiam apud te invenire mereantur ; 

et pro me peccatore suppliciter exorent. 

Quumque optata devotione ac fruibili unione potiti fuerint, 

et bene consolati ac mirifice refecti de sacra mensa caelesti absces- 

mei pauperis recordari dignentur. [serint ; 



Cap. XV 1 1 1. —Quod Homo non sit Curiosus Scrutator 

Sacramenti, sed Humilis Imitator Christi subdendo 

Sensum suum Sacrae Fidei. 

vox dilecti. 

I. Cavendum est tibi a curiosa et inutili perscrutatione hujus 
si non vis in dubitationis profundum submergi. [profundissimi 
Qui scrutator est majestatis ; [sacramenti ; 
opprimetur a gloria. 

Plus valet Deus operari ; 

quam homo intelligere potest. 

Tolerabilis pia et humilis inquisitio veritatis ; 

parata semper doceri, 

et per sanas patrum sententias studens ambulare. 

Beata simplicitas, 

quae difficiles quaestionum relinquit vias ; 

et plana ac firma pergit semita mandatorum Dei. 

Multi devotionem perdiderunt ; 
dum altiora scrutari voluerunt. 
Fides a te exigitur et sincera vita, 

non altitudo intellectus neque profunditas mysteriorum Dei. 
Si non intelligis nee capis quae infra te sunt, 

quomodo comprehendes quae supra te sunt ? 
Subdere Deo et humilia sensum tuum fidei ; 
et dabitur tibi scientiae lumen prout tibi fuerit utile ac necessarium. 

II. Ouidam graviter tentantur de fide et sacramento ; 
sed non est hoc ipsis imputandum sed potius inimico. 

( 448 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XVIII. Of Tiir. Imitation of Christ. 

deserve to find grace and mercy at thy liands; 
and pray as suppliants for me a sinner. 

And when they have obtained the devotion sou;^ht and joyful union, 
and depart from thy sacred heavenly table well comforted and wonder- 
let them vouchsafe to remember me who am poor, [fully refreshed ; 



Chapter XVIII.— That a Man be not a Curious Searcher 

INTO THIS Sacrament, but a Humble Follower of 

Christ submitting Sense to Holy Faith. 

THE voice of the BELOVED. 

I. Thou must beware of curious and unprofitable searching into 



this most profound 
sacrament ; 



if thou wilt not sink into the depth of doubt. 

He who too closely scans its majesty ; 

shall be overwhelmed by its glory. 

God is able to do more ; 

than man can understand. 

.■\. pious and humble inquiry after truth is allowable ; 

always ready to be taught, 

and seeking ever to walk in the sound decisions of the fathers. 

O blessed simplicity, 

which leaves the difficult ways of dispute : 

and goes on in the plain and sure path of (iod's commandments. 

Many have lost devotion ; 
whilst they would search into things too high. 
Faith is required of thee and a guileless life, 

not loftiness of understanding nor the depth of the mysteries of God. 
If thou dost not understand nor comprehend those things which are 

[beneath thee, 
how shouldest thou comprehend those things which are above thee? 
Submit thyself to God and humble thy sense to faith ; 
and the light of knowledge shall be given thee so far as shall be 

[profitable and necessary for thee. 

II. Some are grievously tempted about faith and the sacrament; 
but this is not to l^e imputed to them but rather to the enemy. 

1 449 ) 2 G 



De Imitatione Christi. Lib. IV, Cap. XVIII. 

Noli curare noli disputare cum cogitationibus tuis; 
nee ad immissas a diabolo dubitationes responde : 
sed crede verbis Dei crede Sanctis ejus et prophetis ; 
et fugiet a te nequam inimicus. 

Saepe multum prodest : 
quod talia sustinet Dei servus. 

Nam infideles et peccatores non tentat quos secure jam possidet : 
fideles autem devotos variis modis tentat et vexat. 
Perge ergo cum simplici et indubitata fide : 
et cum supplici reverentia ad sacramentum accede ; 
et quidquid intelligere non vales, 
Deo omnipotenti secure committe. 

Non fallit te Deus ; 
fallitur qui sibi ipsi nimium credit. 
Graditur Deus cum simplicibus revelat se humilibus : 
dat intellectum parvulis, 
aperit sensum puris mentibus ; 
et abscondit gratiam curiosis et superbis. 
Ratio humana debilis est et falli potest ; 
fides autem vera falli non potest. 

Omnis ratio et naturalis investigatio fidem sequi debet ; 
non praecedere nee infringere. 

Nam fides et amor ibi ma.xime praecellunt ; [mento operantur. 

et occultis modis in hoc sanctissimo et superexcellentissimo sacra- 
Deus aeternus et immensus infinitaeque potentiae : 
facit magna et inscrutabilia in caelo et in terra ; 
nee est investigatio mirabilium operum ejus. 
Si talia essent opera Dei ut facile ab humana ratione caperentur ; 
non essent mirabilia nee ineffabilia dicenda. 



FINIS. 



( 450 ) 



Book IV. Chap. XVIII. Of the Imitation uk Chkist 

Be not anxious dispute not with thy thoughts ; 

nor answer the doubts which the devil suggests : 

but believe the words of God believe his saints and prophets : 

and the wicked enemy will fly from thee. 

It is often very profitable ; 
to the servant of God to suffer such things. [surely holds ; 

For the devil tempts not unbelievers and sinners whom he already 
but he many ways tempts and sorely tries the faithful and devout. 
Go forward therefore with a sincere and undouljting faith : 
and with a humble reverence draw near to this sacrament ; 
and whatsoever thou art not able to understand, 
commit in perfect confidence to almighty God. 

God deceives thee not : 
he is deceived who trusts too much in himself. 
God walks with the simple reveals himself to the humble : 
gives understanding to little ones, 
discloses his meaning to pure minds ; 
and hides his grace from the curious and proud. 
Human reason is weak and may be deceived ; 
but true faith cannot he deceived. 

All reason and natural research ought to follow faith; 
and not to go before it nor to weaken it. 

For therein especially faith and love take the lead ; [sacrament, 
and work by hidden ways in this most holy and superexcellent 
God who is eternal and incomprehensible and of infinite power : 
does great and inscrutable things in heaven and earth ; 
nor is there any searching out his wonderful works [human reason; 
If the works of God were such as might be easily comprehended by 
they would not be called wonderful and unspeakable. 



THE END. 



(451 ) 



PRINTED AT THE ATHEN.«UM WORKS, REDHILL. 



T '»?»03 0? 9.tdai no^ fj 'uiT!9pn'BS 's'BiuaA ig : sojdunjxg; 

•qsjiSua ui poora onii;s oq:j iq po^uos 
-ojclai SI 9Ai^oun[qns uij^i 9q^ sojdra^xo osoq; jo :)sjg oqq uj 's^^ 

/ uocn fwi 9m p)i/t Vinoj^ \ snraassioiA imsm:}^ 

/ aaip) 2217s 9.1901 
9y jni/} P2noj[ ; lajgAiA onTtp? 8|n niBm;^ 
\wdi/ 21" ?97 'saurao (^ireipriv 
/ U99nb 9^7 sail (Suoj) ; 'BUiBdl I'^MA '• sdidrnvx-ji 
•puuraraoo -lo qsTA\. v ss-ajdxa oj, (») 
^: pasn si OAii^ounfqns aq^i, 
•0J9q p9^'B.X!}sn[|i ea-B eAicjounCqus aq^ o:j pauSissB 
ejaq(^ sSuiuvani snoiaiJA eq^^ 'sj8:jduqo Sumoji^oj eq^ ui saj^q-e^ 
eq:} ^{[cjuagqja^fUT uj-boj ifura ^^uapn^s aq^ ^■Bqc^ aapjo ut cjnq 
5 x\!!^u^s O!} Suopq spooui osaq') jo asn eq:} aoj saiuj eqj^ 

•pooia q^anoj 13 st; popaii^e.! uac^jo si 
*9Ai(ju'B':jsqns {'BqaOA v ^^qqijaj ui st qoiqAv '9ai:^tii5UI aqj, 
•aAipjgduiT eq-i^ puu *8Ai:iOunfqns 8x{c^ *aAi:;'BOTpui eq^ rspoora 
eo.iq^j 'flup[x;ads ifpiedoad 'Qdv eaeqj, 'poo];^ (g) "igi § 

■(UI §) nnanod 
-9p psii'co Qiv 9soq'} i sqi3A SAi^OB qsj^Sag; jo s^jna^BAinbg aq; giB 
^luo 9AtssBd aq:} ui po^BgnCuoo 91B qoiqAi sqaoA aoiog — -g axox 

'poo/sn7(Vf 'spDs/ {ivunnv uv) ^i 'injiosBd 
f foof imtn sayiddns 'jp^s/py 'jios^d .'uoifotu vi mv ^3aoui j 'joaAora 
' uoi;om m f^s '^.loiu j 'oaAOia -IJ-j : qj9A qsqSug Saipuodsajjoo 
9q; JO 9sn 9Ai;isuBj;ai 9q; Xq pojapnaj 9q na^jo ^uui puB 'SamBani 
eATxapai b SBq sqi9A n}5BT[ 9ai^isubj; 9nios jo 9A]ssBd gqx — "i aio^ 

■l)dao2 lav I 
'jourg .' 9(i02 1 'onTB 'B'9 : aAiss'ed pa« 8at^0'b "zm 'saotoA om^ 
'qsi[Sug; in stj 'uiq-BT; ui e.i'B 9.ieqj, 'QOPA (l) 'OSI § 

•aaqoinu (g) 'uosaad (^) 'esaa^ (g) 'pooni (g) 
'eoiOA (t) 9:}'B0Tpni (^■eq^ STioi':}09gai eA^q sqaa^ ut^b-j "gXI § 

•i- III AX -no) 



zi 




u 



"SNaoNoad 






■*-*a 



The following rules are sufficient for the learner's guidance in 
reading verse, but are nearly all subject to some few exceptions : — 

(1) A diphthong or contracted syllable is long; e.q. mensae, nil 
(= nihil). 

(2) The former of two vowels not forming a diphthong is short ; 

e.g. puer. ^ ^^ 

(3_) A syllable is Ioiig when its vowel is followed in the same word 
ly two consonants r otlicr tlian h V hv one ol tlio double consonants 



- 3k:-- ^ 



X. z. or by semi -consonan tal Tsomctimcs printed j). — / 

(4) A final syllable ending in a consonant counts as long before & ^ , 
word beginning witE semi-consonaut i or a consonant (other tlian h). ___ f)ij 

(5) A syllable containing a vowel naturally short is ciilier long or "^ « MaL^ 
short when the vowel is followed by two ditierent consonants of / P' 
which the second is 1 or_r ; e.g. patris or patns, gen. sing, of pater, C *' 
(A vowel b^iature lo'ng rcniaius long : e.g. matris, gen. sing, of mater. )^ 

(b_) J^'in.aT syllables of words ending in a, i, o, u, as, es, os, and c, 
are long. F inal a, however, in nom., voc, and ncc. is short. Final 
es is short in such nominatives singular as miles, and in the nom. 
plural of Greek substantives, e.g. lampades; and final as is short in 
the corresponding Greek ace. plural, lampadas. Final os is short 
when it represents Greek os. 

(7) Final e is short, except in the 1st (Greek) and 5th declensions, 
in 2nd sing, imper. act. of verbs of the 2nd conjugation, and in adverbs. 

(8) Final is is short, except in ace, dat., and abl. plural, and in 
2nd sing. pres. ind. act. of verbs of the 4th conjugation. 

(9) Final us is short, except in the nom., voc., and ace. plural and 
gen. sing, of the 4th declension, and in fem. substantives like paliis. 

(10) Final sylhibles of words of more than one syllable ending in 
a single consonant other than c or s are short. 

(11) Monosyllables are generally long, except those ending in b, d, t. 

§ 637. Elision. — Before a word beginning with a vowel or h a 
final vowel or diphthong is elided, as also is a final m together with 
the vowel preceding it ; e.g. in the fourth line qiioted in § G41, posse 
Italia scans as poss' Italia and Teucrorum avertere as Teucror' 
avertere. This rarely takes place when the two words are not in 
the same line (§ C4I, /). 



Substantive^^ 



Decl. 1 {F., Males M.). Decl. 2 (-us, Jf., some JK, 
Singular. Singular. Singular 



-er, 



N. V. port- a 
Ace. port -am 
Gen. port-ae 
Bat. port-ae 
Ahi. port -a 

Plural. 
N. V. port-ae 
Ace. port-as 
Gen. . port -arum 
D.Abl. port-is 

Df,CL. 3 (if. kF.) 



Of masc. and 
fein. substantives 
of the third decl. 
here belong those 
•with base ending 
in a single con- 
sonar.t and with 
more syllables in 
the gen. sing, than 
in the notn. sing. 
For exceptions see 
rhyme on p. 24. 



Nom. domin-us 
Voo. dorain-e 
Ace. domin-um 
Gen. domin-i 
7>.^i/-i^. domin-6 
Plural. 
N. V. domin -i 
Al^e^:- domin-os 
Gen. domiu-orum 
D.Abl,.domm-l8 

gen. pi. -um. 

Singular, 
princep-s 
princip-em 
princip-is 
princip-i 
princip-e 



iV. V. 

Ace. 

Gen. 

Bat. 

Abl. 



Plural. 

JV. V.A. prindp-es N. V.A 

Gen. princip-um Gen. 

B.Abl. princip-ibus B.Abl. 

Thii-d decl. neuter .substantives with bases ending in 
third decl. neuters as nomen. 



magister 
magistei;'' 
magi.st»-um 
etc. (as dominus) 

[But J)uer, so- 
cer, gener, liberi 

retain the e 
throughout he- 
fore r.] 

Decl. 3 {N.) -. 

gen. pi. -um. 
Singular. 
N.V.A. noinen 
Gen. nomin-is 
Bat. nomin-i 
Abl. nomin-e 



M. ; -um, iV.). 
Singular. 
regn-um 
regn-um 
regn-um 
regn-i 
regn-6 

Plural, 
regn-a 
regn-a 
regn-orum 
regn-is 

Decl. 3 (iV.) : 
gen. pi. -ium. 

Singular. 

cuhil-e 

cuhil-is 

cuhil-i 

cuhil-i 

Plural.^ 
cuhil-ia 
cubil-ium 
cubil-ibus 



Plural. 
. nomin-a 

nomin-um 

nomin-ibiis 
-al-, -il-, -ar-, as oubile ; other 



Decl. 3 (if. & F.) : Decl. 4 



(Sing. 



gen. pi. -mm. 

as princeps, 
hut ace. sometimes in 
-im, ahl. sometimes 

in -I (§32). ;,- . 

Plural. 
N. V. host-es 
Ace. host-es or -is 
Gen. host-ium 
B.Abl. host-ibus 



N.V. 

Ace. 

Gen. 

Bat. 

Ahl. 

N.V: 
Ace. ■ 
Gen, 
B.Abl. 



(-us, M., some F. ; -u, N.) 
Singular. Singular, 

o-rad-us 



grad-um 
grad-us 
grad-ui 
grad-u 

Plural. 

grad-us 

grad-us 

grad-uum 

grad-ibiis 



gen-u 

gen-u 

gen-US 

gen-u 

gen-u 

PluraL^ 
gen-iia 



gen-uum 
gen -ib lis 



Decl. 5 
(i''., except dies). 

Singular, 
di-es 



AcTis, arcu's, quercus, and some others have dat. abl. pi. iu 



N.V. 

Ace. 

Gen. 

Bat. 

Abl. 

N. V.A. 
Gen. 
B.Abl. 
-ubiis. 



di-em 
di-ei 
di-ei 
di-e 

Plural, 
di-es 
di-erum 
di-ebus 



FiKST Class. 

Masc. as dominus 
or (if ending in -er) 
magister ; e remains 
tlirovighout before r 
in those ending in 
-fer or -ger, also in 
asper, lacer, liber, 
miser, tener. 

Fern, as porta. 

Neut. as regnum. 



Hbjectivcs, 

Second Class (Thikd Declension). 

Masc. and Fem. — (1) Comparatives and (2) most 
adjectives with nom. sing, for all genders alike and 
base ending in a short syllable have ahl. sing, in -e 
and gen. pi. in -um ; the rest have abl. sing, in -i, 
gen. pi. in -ium, ace. pi. in -es or -is. 

Neut. — In gen., dat., ahl., as nvasc. and fem. 
In nom. sing, comj^aratives have -lus (for masc. and 
fem. -ior), and in nom. pi. -iora. Adjectives with 
-ium in gon. ^\. have -la in nom. pi. neut. The voc. 
and ace. neut. arc always the same as the nom. neut. 



L.c, 



UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARi •AiJLilY 



First 

Singular. 
Xo»i. ego 
Ace. 

Gen. 



It'll. 

J hi. 



me 

mei 

mihi 
me 

Xu,„. 

A<r. 

GCH. 

Dai. 
Jhl. 



Peesox. 

Plural, 

nos 

nos 
( noscri 
( nostrum* 

nobis 

nobis 



pronouiii 

Second 

Singular. 

N.r. tu 

Ace. te 




AA 000 498 615 4 



Gen. 

Bat. 
AhL 



hie or 
hunc 



hoc 



Singular, 
hie haec 
banc 
huius 
huic 
hac 



tui 

tibi 
te 

hoc 
hoc 



hoc 



Pekson. 


TuiBD Pehson 


Plural. 


(Reflexive, only) 


V08 


Siiitrular and Plural 


vos 


Ai, . SH or sese 


( vestri 


Qeu. siii 


( vestrum* 


■ Dnt. sibi 


vobis 


A III. se or sese 


vobis 


; y;r\\ux.. 



hi 

hos 

horum 



hae 

has 

harum 
his 
his 



haec 
haec 
horum 



Xdm 

An: 

Gth. 

Dat. 
All. 



ille 
ilium 



Singular. 

ilia 
illam 
illius 

im 

ilia 



1 



ipse 
ipsum 



illud Xoiii. 
illud . Ace. 
Gen. 
Dat. 
illo ilia illo ' Aid. ipso 

Ille ;ind ipse iire in the plural declined like adjectives of tlic first ( 
Iste is declined like ille. 



^^illgular. 

ipsa 
ipsam 

ipsius 

ipsi 
ipsa 



ipsum 
ipsum 



ipso 



.Singular. 
Ko>ii . is ea 

Ace. eum earn 

Gen . eiiis 

Dat. el 



Abl. eo 



ea 



Id 
id 



eo 



ei ox u 

eos 

eorum 



Plural. 

eae 

eas 

earum 
eis or lis 
eis or lis 



ea 
ea 
eorum 



Xom. idem 



Ace. 
Gen. 
Dat. 
All. 



eundem 



eodem 



Singular. 

eadem 
eandem 

eiusdem 

eidem 
eadem 



idem 
idem 



eodem 



Plural. 
i idem or eidem eaedem eadem 
eosdem easdem eadem 

i eorundem earundem eorundem 

I isdem or eisdem 

' isdem or eisdem 



I' 

i( 

n 



Xom. 

Ace. 

Gen. 

Dal. 

AM. 



Xmii. 



Ace. 



Singular. 
qui quae 

quem quam 

ciiius 
cui 
quo qua 

Singular. 

H^^M quae 
I qui j . ^ uX 

quem quam 



quod 
quod 



quo 



qui 

quos 

quorum 



fquid \ 
I quod ) 
fquid \ 
\ quod ) 



qm 



quos 



Plural. 

quae 

quas 

quarum 
quibiis 
quibiis 

Plural 

quae 

quas 



quae 
quae 
quorum 



quae 
quae 



m 



The rest as qui (relative). 
The IXDEKIXITE quis or qui is declined as the intrrrosrativo, except that 
the noni. sing. foiu. and iioiu. and ace. jil. 7U'ut. it has qua, not quae. 



I-'